The Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) was established and activated in September 2001 by directive of Congress [Pub. L. 106-553, app. B, 114 Stat. 2762A-52 (2000)] to exercise all power and functions authorized by law relating to the detention of federal prisoners and aliens awaiting adjudication and/or removal from the United States.
Historically, federal detention has been the responsibility of both the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, now the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plays a supporting role by housing a portion of federal detainees in BOP stand-alone detention centers and detention units in correctional facilities. State, local and private detention facilities also provide detention space to the Federal Government.
As directed by Congress, the objective of the Federal Detention Trustee is to centralize responsibility for detention in order to better manage and plan for needed detention resources without unwanted duplication of effort or competition with other government components. With this broad authority and responsibility, the Federal Detention Trustee works to implement business process improvements and identify areas where operational efficiencies and cost savings can be realized.
OFDT has proven successful in achieving efficiencies and cost reduction and avoidance in detention through process and infrastructure improvements outlined in a national detention strategy. These improvements address the requirements of the USMS, BOP and ICE. OFDT will continue to explore new approaches to address diminishing detention capacity in an environment of an ever-increasing detention population resulting from aggressive immigration and other law enforcement initiatives.
Updated: October 2012