Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today the release of a report examining the United States Marshals Service’s (USMS) judicial security activities. The DOJ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the USMS does not have the resources or proactive threat detection capabilities that the USMS has determined it needs to meet its protective services obligations for USMS-protected persons, including judges. While USMS officials have identified, and sought to implement, improvements to its protective intelligence and threat identification capabilities, we identified several serious challenges facing the USMS.
The specific findings in the report include:
- Resource limitations have hampered planned improvements. Resource limitations and competing agency budget and staffing priorities have impeded the USMS’s ability to provide the level of protective services that it has determined is required given the increasing number of threats directed at the judiciary.
- Inadequate threat detection capabilities. The USMS does not have adequate proactive threat detection capabilities to monitor the current threat landscape, including in online and social media settings.
- Home security equipment is outdated. The Home Intrusion Detection System program offers limited or outdated equipment options to its users, which could dissuade judges from opting into the program or force them to choose an alternative security system that suits their needs better but operates outside of the USMS’s purview.
- Personal safety and security awareness briefings need improvement. USMS policies should be established or revised to improve personal safety and security awareness briefings provided to USMS-protected persons.
Today’s report makes 8 recommendations to improve the USMS’s judicial security activities. The USMS agreed with all the recommendations.