- The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for the safe and secure
confinement, care and transportation of federal prisoners from the time
of court-ordered custody until either their acquittal or their
conviction and delivery to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to serve their
- Once ordered into custody by a U.S. District Court, the U.S.
Marshals Service assumes responsibility for all prisoners charged with a
federal offense, regardless of which state, local or federal law
enforcement agency made the arrest.
|Average number of prisoners in Marshals custody
each day, housed in federal, state, local and private jails
throughout the nation
|Prisoners received by U.S. Marshals in Fiscal
|Contracts with state and local governments to
rent jail space
|Prisoners housed in state, local and private
|Prisoners housed in Federal Bureau of Prisons
- All individuals arrested on a federal offense are brought before a
U.S. magistrate or U.S. district court judge for an initial court
appearance. The court determines if they are to be released on bond or
remanded into the custody of the Marshals to await trial. If convicted
at the conclusion of the case, the U.S. Marshals Service delivers
prisoners to the designated Federal Bureau of Prisons institution to
serve their sentence.
- The task of holding federal prisoners presents challenges which are
diverse and complex, such as:
- Taking DNA samples of individuals arrested by the Marshals for
an FBI database
- Managing prisoners with terminal illnesses and contagious
- Coordinating with federal, state and local authorities about
writs and court orders and transferring prisoners between the
various levels of the criminal justice system (local, state and
Prisoner Medical Care
- The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for the health care costs
of federal prisoners in its custody.
- Increased cases of disease and medical problems, such as cancer,
AIDS, hepatitis and multiple-organ failure, within the prisoner
population has made the Marshals role in prisoner medical care more
- Congress passed an amendment to 18 U.S. Code 4006 in 2000, which
authorizes the agency to pay for expenditures for medical claims at no
more than Medicare payment standards. As a result, prisoner medical care
costs have been reduced by more than $638 million over 12 years.
- The Marshals recently began a national managed-care contract, which
reduces workload and saves costs through centralizing administrative
procedures to a contractor for procuring, processing and paying medical
and pharmacy services provided to federal prisoners in U.S. Marshals
- U.S. Public Health Service officers assigned to the Marshals provide
clinical advice and expertise.
Office of Public Affairs
revised Nov. 8, 2012