Jun 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Watchdog report: Federal Marshals have "inadequate" resources to keep judges safe

A U.S. Marshals jacket
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) have "inadequate" resources to keep federal judges and other protected persons safe, according to a new report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General released on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The findings underscore the vulnerability of people protected by the Marshals Service at a time when threats are on the rise.

  • The report notes that between 2016 and 2019, the Marshal Service observed an 89% increase in "security incidents involving, and inappropriate communications and threats made to, USMS-protected officials."
  • Threats against federal judges in particular have increased 400% in the last 5 years.

The big picture: The USMS lacks the resources to detect threats online and on social media, and the home security equipment it provides those in its protection is "limited and outdated."

  • The agency also suffers from staffing shortages, and should hire 1,200 additional deputy U.S. marshals to adequately protect all necessary persons, the report recommends.
  • The report also calls for an increase in funding for the USMS in 2022.
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