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Judicial Security Fact Sheet

Factsheet 2020

The U.S. Marshals Service has been responsible for protecting the federal judicial process as the enforcement arm of the federal courts since 1789.

The U.S. Marshals protect 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.

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.

2020 Data
Number of federal court districts protected by the Marshals 94
Number of judicial facilities protected by the Marshals 838 (43 million square feet)
Number of federal judges protected by the Marshals approximately 2,700
Number of federal prosecutors and court officials for whom the Marshals have protective responsibility approximately 30,300
Number of threats and inappropriate communications against protected persons in fiscal 2019 4,449

How the mission is accomplished

Employing a national network of deputy U.S. marshals, physical security specialists, intelligence analysts and support staff, the agency:

  • Ensures the safe and secure conduct of judicial proceedings
  • Provides protection for federal judges, other court officials, witnesses, jurors, the visiting public and prisoners
  • Assesses, investigates and mitigates threats against the judiciary 24/7
  • Utilizes the Threat Management Center to serve as a consolidated information sharing center providing support to district investigators
  • Coordinates security for judicial conferences throughout the United States
  • Protects Supreme Court justices when outside of Washington
  • Protects the deputy attorney general
  • Protects other high-level U.S. government personnel as directed by statute and the attorney general
  • Provides support to the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, augmenting protective details for foreign officials during U.N. General Assembly sessions

The U.S. Marshals Service also administers the Judicial Facility Security Program. The agency:

  • Oversees the daily operation and management of security services performed by approximately 5,400 court security officers within the 94 U.S. District Courts and 12 circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. As the security front line, court security officers screen visitors at building entrances and handle other security duties.
  • Installs and maintains security systems for the protection of federal courthouses and other judicial facilities. In fiscal 2019, the U.S. Marshals Service managed the design, installation, repair and replacement of 490 security projects, totaling $81.9 million, to address vulnerabilities to judicial personnel and facilities.

The agency's National Center for Judicial Security provides subject matter expertise to federal, state, local and international law enforcement partners and stakeholders on matters of judicial security, including threat assessment, training, information sharing and technology reviews. In fiscal 2019, the agency:

  • Briefed 17 new chief judges and 41 judicial nominees
  • Led training for local and federal courts in Guam and the annual conference of the National Sheriff's Association
  • Continued its partnership with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center on a study of targeted violence toward judicial officials
  • Assisted Malaysia with creating new court security standard operating procedures to address physical security, courtroom security, protection of judges and court staff, and court security officer training
  • Conducted a vulnerability assessment of court facilities for Puerto Rico

The Marshals Service serves as one of 21 primary members on the Interagency Security Committee, established by Executive Order 12977 in 1995, to develop state-of-the-art security standards for federal facilities.

The agency fosters information exchange efforts with more than 40 law enforcement and intelligence community agencies that share protective intelligence interests. The Marshals have liaisons at the National Joint Terrorism Task Force and the National Counterterrorism Center to coordinate with other intelligence community components.

Office of Public Affairs

February 25, 2020