September 1995

Report Number I-94-04




Transmittal Memorandum

Executive Digest



Scope and Methodology


Results of the Inspection

Fugitive Apprehension Program Status

Most Warrants Over Twelve Months Old Are Not Being Closed

Most Warrants Closed Are Newer Warrants And Are Closed Through Physical Arrest

DEA Closes Almost Half the Cases It Refers to the USMS

Little Change Occurs in the Number of New Warrants Received Annually

Use of Fugitive Apprehension Program Resources

Fugitive Apprehension Activities Account for Only a Small Portion of USMS Workload

Not All Resources Allocated to Fugitive Apprehension Are Dedicated to Working Warrants in the Field

Opportunities Exist for More Effective Use of Fugitive Apprehension Resources

Operational Priorities Need to Be Established For the USMS Fugitive Apprehension Program


Analysis of Fugitive Information Can Be Improved


Issues for Management Consideration

Task Forces Represent Important Opportunities for Fugitive Apprehension

Greater Availability of Vehicles and Radios For Warrant Work May Be Needed

Many Deputies Believe They Need Additional and More Realistic Warrant-Related Training

Better Coordination of DEA-Referred Cases May Be Needed

Figure 1 - Age of Warrants On Hand

Figure 2 - Types of Warrants on Hand

Figure 3 - On-Hand Warrants Closed 4/1/93-3/31/94

Figure 4 - Age of Warrants Closed

Figure 5 - Closed DEA-Referred Warrants

Figure 6 - Warrants Received FY 1991-1993

Figure 7 - Allocated Time by Mission (FY 93)

Figure 8 - Allocated Time by Mission (FY 94)

APPENDIX I  -  Fugitive Apprehension Resources at USMS Districts Visited

APPENDIX II  -  United States Marshals Service Response To Draft Report

APPENDIX III  -  Office of the Inspector General's Analysis Of Management's Response

APPENDIX IV  -  Abbreviations





U.S. Department of Justice

Office of the Inspector General

September 28, 1995

                                       UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE

FROM:                           MICHAEL R. BROMWICH
                                       INSPECTOR GENERAL

SUBJECT:                      Inspection of the Fugitive Apprehension Program
                                       In The United States Marshals Service,
                                       Report Number I-94-04

Attached is our final report on the subject inspection.

The Inspections Division sent copies of the draft report to your office on July 25, 1995, and requested that you provide written comments on the findings and recommendations. Your September 12, 1995, response addressed the four recommendations, and we concur with your proposed actions. We have attached your response as Appendix II.

On the basis of your written comments, we consider the recommendations resolved and will close recommendations one, two, and three. We will keep recommendation four open pending further information. Appendix III explains why the recommendation was not closed and what action is needed.

Guidance on report follow-up and resolution can be found in Department of Justice Order 2900.10.

We appreciate the cooperation extended to the Inspections Division staff during the review. If you have any suggestions as to how we might improve our review process, please let us know.


cc:  Lucia C. Clark
      United States Marshals Service

      Vickie L. Sloan
      Audit Liaison Office






The Office of the Inspector General, Inspections Division, has completed an inspection of the fugitive apprehension program in the United States Marshals Service (USMS). Our objective was to assess the program and identify potential areas for improvement.

The USMS is administratively responsible for all Federal warrants, meaning it acts as a repository for all warrants issued by U.S. District Courts. It has investigative and apprehension responsibility for persons who commit a number of offenses, including bond defaults, probation violations, parole violations, and escapes. The USMS also enforces warrants from agencies without arrest powers, bench warrants issued by Federal judges, and warrants referred by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

We found that the USMS is closing most newer felony warrants. However, it appears that if a warrant has not been closed within 12 months, the warrant is likely to remain open indefinitely. As of April 1, 1993, the USMS had 19,399 felony warrants on hand to be executed. Most of these were older warrants. Almost 75 percent were more than a year old, and about 37 percent were more than 5 years old. Of the warrants that were closed during the period April 1, 1993, through March 31, 1994, most were newer warrants. Between fiscal years (FYs) 1991 and 1993, the total number of warrants on hand at the USMS has increased steadily while little change occurred in the number of warrants received annually.

Fugitive apprehension activities make up only a small portion of the USMS workload. During FY 1993 and the first 8 months of FY 1994, fugitive apprehension activities accounted for less than 15 percent of total time charges in the USMS. Budget documents indicate that the fugitive apprehension program has been allocated almost 600 positions in recent years. Time charges to fugitive apprehension activities have been in line with these allocations. However, our analysis of time charges suggests that much of the time charged to fugitive apprehension is charged by deputies and other personnel not dedicated to working warrants full-time. A March 1993 survey by the USMS Enforcement Division identified only 250 positions in the field dedicated to fugitive apprehension. Officials with whom we spoke at Headquarters and in the field believe that if they could dedicate more deputies to working warrants, they would be able to conduct fugitive apprehension duties more effectively.

Allocation of resources within the 94 USMS districts is typically made by the U.S. Marshal or the Chief Deputy Marshal in each district. During our field work, we found a significant disparity in the commitment to working warrants among the district offices we visited. The USMS needs to set priorities and performance goals for its fugitive apprehension activities.

The USMS should provide additional investigative support to deputies working warrants in the field and develop criteria for establishing warrant workload priorities. The USMS should also give higher priority to enhancement and maintenance of the Warrant Information Network system so that it can serve as an analytical tool to better support fugitive apprehension activities in the field.