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U.S. Marshals Service

Court Security 

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 security procedures.

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.

Court Security is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice