Organization, Mission and Functions Manual: Overview

The position of Attorney General was created by the Congress in the Judiciary Act of 1789. The United States Department of Justice was established by statute in June 1870, with the Attorney General as its head.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The most sacred of the duties of government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens." This sacred duty to fulfill the promise of justice for all remains the guiding ideal for the men and women of the Department in carrying out their mission:

"To enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."

This manual contains the official organization charts and mission and functions statements of the 42 separate components of the Department. These include the United States Attorneys, who prosecute offenders and represent the United States Government in court; the National Security Division, which coordinates the Department's highest priority of combating terrorism and protecting national security; the major investigative agencies - the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - which prevent and deter crime and arrest criminal suspects; the United States Marshals Service, which protects the federal judiciary, apprehends fugitives, and detains persons in federal custody; and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which confines convicted offenders. The litigating divisions enforce federal criminal and civil laws, including civil rights, tax, antitrust, environmental, and civil justice statutes. The Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services provide assistance to state, tribal, and local governments. Other departmental components include the National Drug Intelligence Center, the Executive Office for United States Trustees, the Justice Management Division, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Community Relations Service, and the Office of the Inspector General. Although headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Department conducts much of its work in offices located throughout the country and overseas.

Under the direction of the Assistant Attorney General for Administration (AAG/A), the Justice Management Division, Budget Staff, is responsible for coordinating the review and analysis of all reorganization proposals in accordance with Department of Justice Order 1000.2A. The manual is also available online.

Return to the table of contents