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U.S. Marshals Service

Defendant and Prisoner Custody and Detention

The Marshals Service assumes custody of individuals arrested by all federal agencies and is responsible for the housing and transportation of prisoners from the time they are brought into federal custody until they are either acquitted or incarcerated.

Each day, the Marshals Service houses approximately 52,000 detainees in federal, state, local and private jails throughout the nation. In order to house these pre-sentenced prisoners, the Marshals Service contracts with approximately 1,800 state and local governments to rent jail space. Eighty percent of the prisoners in Marshals Service custody are detained in state, local and private facilities.

Individuals who are arrested or detained for violation of federal statutes must be brought before a magistrate or judge for an initial hearing. After the hearing, prisoners may be released or remanded into the custody of the respective U.S. Marshal to stand trial. If convicted at the actual trial, it is the agency's responsibility to deliver the prisoner to an institution to serve the imposed sentence.

In locations where detention space is scarce, the Marshals Service provides select state and local governments with Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) funds to improve local jail facilities and to expand jail capacities. In return, the agency receives guaranteed space for its federal prisoners. The Marshals Service has awarded $279 million to counties and municipalities under CAP agreements - resulting in the provision of more than 12,000 guaranteed spaces for federal prisoners.

The responsibility for the detention of prisoners is challenging in its diversity and complexity. Deputy marshals must resolve difficult issues such as arranging for the hospitalization and care of prisoners with terminal illnesses or contagious diseases, and deciding whether the Marshals Service will grant the transfer of prisoners to state authorities pursuant to state writs.

Juvenile Detention

It is the responsibility of the USMS to provide for the custody, handling, and detention of juvenile delinquents in accordance with the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, 18 USC 50315042. A juvenile is a person who is less than l8 years old for the purpose of proceedings and disposition under 18 USC 5031. In the case of an act of juvenile delinquency, a person who is under 2l is considered a juvenile. USMS juvenile prisoners will be treated as such unless, upon a motion by the attorney general, the court orders the juvenile to be treated as an adult. In such cases the juvenile is ‘‘transferred’’ for adult prosecution (18 USC 5032). Any prisoner committed under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act will be treated as a juvenile regardless of age.



Important Information:

Applicants requesting a new Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) or housing rate modification:

Effective November 19, 2007, it is mandatory for most applicants requesting a new IGA or housing rate modification to use the e-IGA automated process by submitting the application to the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT).  Read More is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice