As a federal law enforcement agency, the U.S. Marshals' have many essential responsibilities:
- Protect the courts - - this includes use of security systems, watching high-risk trials, providing personal escorts and reviewing suspicious mail.
- Find and arrest federal fugitives and assist in the apprehension of local and state fugitives
- Transport prisoners; the Justice Prisoner Alien Transportation System (or JPATS) transports prisoners by van, bus and an airline that is solely devoted to this purpose.
- Administer the Federal Witness Security Program (or Witness Protection Program), which provides new identities and secure and guarded facilities for high-risk witnesses
- Seize assets earned or used during the commission of crimes (usually drug crimes). Seized items and/or property are then sold to fund law enforcement initiatives.
- Oversee the Special Operations Group, which works like a federal SWAT team during times of civil unrest
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