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U.S. Marshals Service

Prisoner Health Care 

The Marshals Service relies on state and local jails as well as Bureau of Prisons detention facilities to provide medical care inside the facilities. However, the Marshals Service is responsible for providing a secure escort and for paying for care when a prisoner must go to medical facilities in the local community. (See USMS Prisoner Health Care Guidance)

The Marshals Service faces an increasing number of prisoners suffering from extremely complex medical problems, such as cancer, terminal AIDS, and liver and kidney failure. The Marshals Service is increasingly concerned with protecting its staff, other prisoners and the general public from exposure to infectious diseases such as active tuberculosis. These cases present a distinct challenge to the already limited agency personnel resources.

The Marshals Service has also begun to implement medical cost containment initiatives by establishing: preferred provider medical networks; centralized medical bill review and pricing; locked hospital wards in local facilities; and interagency cooperative efforts with the U.S. Public Health Service and the department of Veterans Affairs. During the past ten years, the Marshals Service has reduced its prisoner medical care costs by $171.6 million through innovative cost-saving projects. Additionally, Congress now authorizes the Marshals Service to apply Medicare rates for prisoner medical bills, and this new initiative will save the agency a significant amount of money each year.

Signature cards (SF-210) of all Assistant Public Defenders must be certified by the Public Defender and be on file with the USMS. A Government employee must be designated to authorize witness vouchers (Form OBD-3).

Prisoner Health Care Guidance to Districts

For additional information, please contact your local U.S. Marshal’s office. is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice