Mitigating the risk of COVID-19 to U.S. Marshals Service prisoners, our staff, and the community is of paramount importance to the U.S. Marshal Service.
The U.S. Marshals Service does not own or operate detention facilities but partners with state and local governments using intergovernmental agreements (IGAs) to house prisoners. Additionally, the agency houses prisoners in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities and private detention facilities. At most facilities where U.S. Marshals Service prisoners are held, U.S. Marshals Service represents a fraction of the facility population. Federal judges decide who comes into or out of U.S. Marshals Service custody as a component of individual judicial proceedings.
As of April 25, 2023, U.S. Marshals Service prisoner population COVID-19 statistics:
- Current total U.S. Marshals Service prisoner population: 59,159
- Current number of prisoners with active COVID-19 cases: 325
- Cumulative number of prisoners with positive COVID-19 cases at any time during the pandemic: 22,246
By type of facility:
- Intergovernmental Agreement facilities: 14,047
- Private facilities: 3,969
- Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities: 4,230
- Cumulative number of prisoners recovered*: 21,685
- Cumulative Prisoner COVID-19-related deaths to date: 51
- Approximate cumulative number of prisoners in U.S. Marshals Service custody during the pandemic: 307,871
*NOTE: Data on prisoner health comes to the U.S. Marshals Service through established reporting mechanisms that may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; the data is not real-time and may not reflect the most current information.
U.S. Marshals Service Prisoner Housing and Operations
- Facilities housing U.S. Marshals Service prisoners are responsible for the medical care that prisoners receive. These facilities work closely with state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that infectious diseases are promptly identified and treated. All training protocols, quarantine decisions or policy adjustments are made at the facility level.
- The U.S. Marshal Service takes very seriously its prisoner detention mission to provide safe, secure, and humane custody, housing, medical care, and transportation for federal prisoners throughout the United States and its territories. We have modified our policies and procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "Interim Guidance on Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities."
- Decisions regarding the detention of prisoners are made and issued by the U.S. Courts. Many federal court districts across the country continue to operate; therefore, the U.S. Marshals must continue to safely and securely manage prisoners while executing the lawful orders set by the federal judiciary. U.S. Marshals Service district offices are limiting prisoner movements within their federal district and between facilities as much as possible.
- The U.S. Marshals Service adheres to guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention for the handling of prisoners with suspected or actual reportable cases of infectious disease within U.S. Marshal Service cellblocks. Symptomatic prisoners are isolated from other prisoners and staff. U.S. Marshals Service personnel have been issued specific COVID-19 guidance for screening prisoners that was developed by infectious disease experts from the U.S. Public Health Service, who regularly update it in accordance with evolving Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention guidance. For more information on U.S. Marshals Service prisoner operations, see the fact sheet available from U.S. Marshals Service Fact Sheets.
U.S. Marshals Service Prisoner Transportation
- The Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS) manages the coordination, scheduling and secure handling of prisoners in federal custody, transporting them to detention facilities, courts and Federal Bureau of Prisons institutions across the 94 judicial districts via a network of aircraft, buses, vans and cars. Our mission is to transfer prisoners safely, securely and humanely. Under normal conditions, prisoner movements take place for a variety of reasons, such as to serve a federal sentence at a Federal Bureau of Prisons institution, testify at a trial, transfer between facilities, or to receive specialized medical care.
- The U.S. Marshal Service is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, which states: "If a transfer is absolutely necessary, perform verbal screening and a temperature check … before the individual leaves the facility."
- Many federal court districts across the country continue to operate; therefore, the U.S. Marshals must continue to safely and securely transport prisoners in accordance with the federal judiciary process, which includes sentencing, judgment and committal, and designations to Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities, as well as other federal judiciary court orders and processes.
- The Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System does not move any prisoner who is symptomatic or known to be positive for COVID-19.
- U.S. Marshal Service equipment, aircraft and vehicles are undergoing daily, enhanced COVID-19-specific cleaning. In addition, the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System has implemented the use of masks by all inmates and staff.
- The U.S. Marshal Service is coordinating closely with Federal Bureau of Prisons regarding prisoner transportation to Federal Bureau of Prisons facilities during this pandemic.
*a small number of prisoners were released upon court order prior to meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention time recommended to be considered recovered