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U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshals Service for Students

Prisoner Services

Each day, the Marshals Service houses nearly 44,000 prisoners in federal, state, local and private jails throughout the nation. Sometimes there are so many prisoners the Marshals Service has to rent beds from local jails.

When a person is arrested, they must go before a magistrate (judge) to be charged (told why they were arrested). The magistrate then decides if the person is released or remanded (sent back) to prison until their trial. While in Marshals Service custody (hold) each prisoner is safely moved to and from court, securely housed and, provided meals and medical care. The Marshals Service may be required to escort prisoners many times during several legal proceedings, such as:

  • Initial Hearing: defendant is told the reason for arrest
  • Pre-Trial: proceedings to clear up subjects of law and facts
  • Competency examinations: determine if a person can mentally understand the charges and a trial
  • Trial: formal examination of the facts to prove guilt
  • Pre-sentencing: after a person is convicted (declared guilty), the court's probation officer prepares a report of the person’s present and past offenses to decide the appropriate sentence.
  • Sentencing: the punishment given by a judge for being found guilty of a crime
  • Delivery: legal transfer to an institution to serve sentence
  • Transfer: prisoner movement between institutions
  • Move: criminal aliens to a deportation center
  • Removal: deportation of aliens from U.S. 

MEDICAL CARE: If a prisoner becomes sick while in Marshals Service custody, the following arrangements are provided:

  • medical appointment at a local doctor’s office or hospital
  • safe escort to the medical appointment
  • guard service during a prisoner’s hospital stay
  • payment of the medical bill

Learn more:

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