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Judicial Security

The United States Marshals Service, Judicial Security Division, is committed to the protection of the judicial process by ensuring the safe and secure conduct of judicial proceedings, and protecting federal judges, jurors, and other members of the federal judiciary.

It is a comprehensive effort accomplished by anticipating and deterring threats to the judiciary, and by continuously developing and employing innovative protective tactics.

US Court house with 3 men and a woman standing outside

Program Overview

Senior Inspectors, Deputy Marshals, and Court Security Officers provide security for federal court facilities in each of the 94 judicial districts and 12 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The U.S. Marshals Service protects more than 2,700 sitting judges and approximately 30,300 federal prosecutors and court officials, along with members of the public who visit and work in federal courthouses nationwide.

Judicial Security Division manages contracts for over 5,700 Court Security Officers, maintains more than 1,600 residential security systems in judges' personal residences, and as the physical security provider to over 800 federal facilities, the U.S. Marshals Service develops, manages, and implements security systems and screening equipment that protect each courthouse.

Explicit threats and inappropriate communications against the judiciary, U.S. Attorneys, and other court officers are assessed to determine the level of danger.

In fiscal year 2021, the U.S. Marshals Service evaluated 3,168 security incidents and conducted 972 protective assessments. The combination of this and other information led to the opening of 371 predicated protective investigations based on the presence of or potential for criminal activity.

Today's threat landscape is more complex than ever before with high-threat environments resulting from terrorism and organized crime. To combat these, U.S. Marshals Service judicial security personnel provide a 360 degrees safe-haven with state-of the-art protective techniques and equipment in all phases of court proceedings, threat situations, and judicial conferences.

The latest in investigative techniques as well as cutting-edge protective operations ensure rapid and safe responses in emergency situations as well as unobtrusive surveillance and protection during routine judicial security operations.

For general inquiries, please

Frequently Asked Questions

How many federal judges are the U.S. Marshals responsible for protecting?

The U.S. Marshals are responsible for the protection of approximately 2,700 federal judges. This information and more about our responsibility for protecting the federal judicial process can be found on our Judicial Security fact sheet

Are the U.S. Marshals responsible for protecting Supreme Court justices?

When requested, the U.S. Marshals protect Supreme Court justices when they travel outside Washington, D.C.

Do I have a constitutional right to photograph or record footage of federal courthouses?

Yes, it is your first amendment right to photograph or film from public spaces outside of the courthouse, but law enforcement still may approach you to determine your intent.

What security measures are in place at federal courthouses to ensure the safety of courthouse employees and the public?

The U.S. Marshals are responsible for the protection of the federal judicial process, and we take that responsibility very seriously. While we do not discuss our specific security measures, we continuously review the security measures in place and take appropriate steps to provide protection when it is warranted.

How many threats have been made against federal judges this year?

Protecting court officials and safeguarding the public is a responsibility that permits no errors. It is a comprehensive effort accomplished by anticipating and deterring threats to the judiciary and by continuously developing and employing innovative protective tactics. For the latest number of threats and inappropriate communications against protected persons, please see our Judicial Security fact sheet.​​​​​​

Are the security officers who staff the entrance of the federal courthouse deputy U.S. Marshals?

No. The entrance station of a federal courthouse is staffed by Court Security Officers (CSOs), highly-trained men and women who are employed by private security companies awarded a security contract by the U.S. Marshals Service. CSOs are graduates of a certified Federal, state, county or local law enforcement academy, and many have years of law enforcement experience.

Did you know?

  • 94 federal court districts were protected by the U.S. Marshals Service.

  • Approximately 30,300 federal prosecutors and court officials for whom the Marshals had protective responsibility.

  • 888 judicial facilities were protected by the U.S. Marshals Service.

  • There were 4,511 threats and inappropriate communications against protected persons in fiscal 2021.

  • Approximately 2,700 federal judges were protected by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Court Security

The United States Marshals Service is the preeminent expert on facility security. The Court Security Program ensures the protection of the federal judicial process through screening and protection at all federal court facilities. The program ensures the day-to-day security of all those who participate in the federal judicial process, including members of the public.

The agency is dedicated to this responsibility through strategic development, implementation, and enhancements of the nationwide Court Security Officer (CSO) program, which consists of more than 5,700 contractors. The Court Security Officer is typically the first line of interior defense for the "Third Branch" of the United States Government.

Currently, four companies hold Court Security Officers contracts with the U.S. Marshals Services:

  • Walden Security
  • Paragon Systems
  • Centerra Group
  • APSI-Centerra