Senior inspectors, deputy marshals and contracted court security officers
(CSOs) provide security inside federal courthouses in each of the 94 federal
judicial districts and in the District of Columbia Superior Court. The
Marshals Service protects more than 2,000 sitting judges and countless other
court officials at over 400 locations where court-related activities are
conducted throughout the nation.
In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of threats
against members of the judiciary, U.S. attorneys and other court officers.
Explicit threats against the judiciary are assessed by court security
inspectors to determine the level of danger. On average, about 1,350
threats/inappropriate communications against judicial members are logged
each year - many of which result in round-the-clock protective details.
Marshals Service court security personnel provide the latest in
state-of-the-art protective techniques and equipment in all phases of court
proceedings, threat situations and judicial conferences - thus ensuring
quick and safe responses in emergency situations as well as unobtrusive
surveillance and protection during routine operations.
Court security inspectors conduct surveys of local court facilities at the
request of local jurisdictions in order to review their equipment and
Office of Security Systems
In fulfilling its primary responsibility of providing security services to
the federal judiciary, the Marshals Service’s Office of Security Systems (OSS)
group designs and coordinates the installation of complex electronic
security systems to protect federal judges, courthouse staff members and the
physical court facilities.
OSS designs low-profile weapons-screening stations used at the entrances of
most court facilities. These stations are designed so CSOs can identify and
seize unauthorized weapons in a setting that provides protection for them
while also blending aesthetically into the lobby architecture. These
stations include X-ray equipment procured and maintained by OSS with
state-of-the-art detection software at more than 400 court facilities.
OSS develops standards for the installation of ballistic-resistant armor
protection for courtroom benches and for those judiciary-related activities
located in facilities where no weapons screening is performed. OSS also
designs CSO communications systems such as base and repeater stations to
ensure comprehensive radio communications throughout local facilities. OSS
recently procured 175 explosive trace detections systems. These new
machines, maintained by OSS, will serve as an additional tool for CSOs in
primary courthouses across the country.
Judicial Protective Services (Court Security Officer Program)
The Marshals Service administers contracts for approximately 3,800 CSOs who
secure building entrances at more than 400 court facilities in the United
States and its territories. Many CSOs have extensive law enforcement
experience with state and local police departments.
The U.S. Marshals Court Security Officer program and security systems for
space occupied by the judiciary are funded separately by a court security
appropriation. The appropriation also funds certain employees who administer
daily courthouse security functions.
Office of Security Contracts
Under an inter-agency agreement between the Marshals Service, General
Services Administration (GSA) and the Administrative Office of the U.S.
Courts (AOUSC), the Office of Security Contracts staff awards and administers
all contracts for CSO services as well as contracts for the installation and
maintenance of security equipment.
National Center for Judicial Security
The National Center for Judicial Security provides advice, assistance,
services and support to federal, state, local and international
jurisdictions. NCJS programs and activities include security assessments,
training, information sharing and technology review.