District of Oregon
Prisoner Visits to Deathbed or
- Upon receipt of a federal court
order, the United States Marshal (USM) may produce a prisoner for a
deathbed visit to a member of the immediate family, or to
attend a private viewing of a deceased member of the immediate
family. An immediate family member is defined as the father,
mother, husband, wife, child, brother, or sister of the prisoner.
- The USM may expand the definition of
immediate family when it involves stepparents, aunts, uncles, or
other individuals who performed a parental role or who resided with
the prisoner in a family type relationship. The prisoner or
his or her representative must clearly establish this relationship
to the satisfaction of the USM.
- U.S. Marshals will not allow the
attendance of a federal prisoner in USMS custody, or support the
production of prisoners in other agencies' custody, at funeral
observances (religious or civil) for a deceased member of the
prisoner's immediate family. The behavior of the prisoner, his
or her family, and friends are likely to be governed by the
emotional impact of such observances and the risk of escape or
assaultive behavior is increased. The burden on districts to
properly secure such an environment is beyond the capability of most
districts and the costs to the prisoner would be prohibitive.
- U.S. Marshals will not produce BOP
(sentenced or committed) or state prisoners for deathbed visits or
B. COURT ORDER COMPLIANCE CRITERIA:
Before the USM complies with a court order for deathbed visits
or private viewings, the following criteria must be met to the
satisfaction of the USM:
- The individual is a federal prisoner
in USMS custody pending court action or sentence, or under custody
pursuant to a writ.
- The prisoner has no pending writs of
removal, detainers, or other actions which would impede the judicial
- The request is valid and can be
verified by the USM.
- The dying or deceased person is
within the definition of immediate family.
- The prisoner has no record of past
escapes, escape attempts, or history of violent behavior. A
security check with the local police department and FBI will be made
to determine if any family member or associate is an outstanding
fugitive from justice, or if such persons would pose a threat to the
prisoner or to deputies.
- The prisoner is willing to comply
with all terms and conditions of the visit that may be imposed by
the USM to ensure the custody and safety of the transporting
deputies and the general public.
- The USM has enough available
deputies to escort a prisoner to a deathbed visit or private
- The U.S. attorney assigned to
prosecute the prisoner does not object.
- The judge assigned to the case does
- The prisoner, his or her family, or
other associate prepays the anticipated costs for staff, travel and
per diem required to escort a prisoner to a deathbed visit or
private viewing. The prisoner must agree in writing to pay any
additional costs not anticipated but incurred by the USMS while
escorting him or her.
- The USM will strictly limit
attendance at the deathbed visit or private viewing to the prisoner,
the transporting deputies, the funeral director and/or medical
personnel. The prisoner's attorney, family or friends will not
be allowed to attend.
- The prisoner will be property
restrained consistent with current procedures at all times.
- The deathbed visit or private
viewing will not exceed two hours. The transporting deputies
may terminate the visit at any time if conditions indicate a
security problem that threatens the custody of the prisoner, the
safety of the public or deputies.
- Neither the prisoner, his or her
family, attorney or any person acting on the prisoner's behalf will
receive advance notice concerning the date or time of the deathbed
visit or private viewing.
- A minimum of two deputies will be
used when producing prisoners for deathbed visits or private
viewings. The USM will augment the detail with additional
deputies as necessary to ensure adequate security.
D. COURT ORDERS
- PRISONERS IN USMS CUSTODY: If
a petition is made to the court to allow a prisoner to make a
deathbed visit or private viewing, the USM will ask the court,
through the U.S. attorney, for a hearing. At the hearing, the
USM's position on the request will be presented. Thee
possibilities of bail reduction, personal recognizance, or temporary
release from custody should be considered if appropriate. The
court should be made aware of agency policy concerning deathbed
visits and private viewings. If the court directs the USM to
escort a prisoner to a deathbed visit or private viewing, the USM,
through the U.S. attorney, will request that the order be vacated.
If the order is not vacated, the USM through the U.S. attorney, will
ask that the specific security procedures outlined in this section
be incorporated into the order. If the order is contrary to
proper security or safety practices, the USM will notify the
Assistant Director, PSD, as well as the Office of General Council
for further guidance.
E. REIMBURSEMENT FOR USMS COSTS
- Calculation of Costs: All
costs directly related to these special types of productions are to
be collected in advance of the trip from the prisoner or his or her
sponsor in the form of a certified check. Allowable costs
include salaries, per diem, and transportation for the deputies
assigned and any other expenses anticipated for the prisoner (except
cost of detention in a contract jail).