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Federal Judicial Security: Comprehensive Risk-Based Program Should Be Fully Implemented

NCJ Number
Date Published
144 pages
The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) investigated the risk environment within which judges and other Federal judicial personnel must work, reviewed administrative policies and procedures for providing judicial security, and evaluated whether there is a need to change security management responsibilities now shared by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the General Services Administration.
According to survey responses from executive branch security experts and judges, the environment in which the Federal judiciary operates has become more dangerous; there have been several incidents leading to the deaths of judges and other judicial branch officials, confiscations of weapons at entrances to judicial facilities, an increase in emotionally charged civil matters brought before the Federal bench, and a much higher number of prisoners held at Federal court facilities. GAO makes several recommendations designed to ensure that a comprehensive risk-based security program is implemented fully and consistently in all judicial districts, that off-site security risks and needs are also evaluated, and that roles and responsibilities for judicial security are clarified and modified as necessary. 1 table, 3 figures, and 8 appendixes