Follow-up Inspection of the
United States Marshals Service's
Fugitive Apprehension Program
Report Number I-2000-02
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Marshals Service
Office of the Director
Arlington, Virginia 22202-4210
December 15, 1999
|MEMORANDUM TO:||Mary W. Demory|
Assistant Inspector General for Inspections
|FROM:||John W. Marshall|
|SUBJECT:||Follow-up Inspection of the United States Marshals
Fugitive Apprehension Program,
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the subject draft inspection report. As requested, the attached response provides implementation plans and time frames for each recommendation. We have also addressed a finding presented in the report which apparently did not result in a formal recommendation.
Any questions or concerns regarding this response may be directed to Isabel Howell, Audit Liaison, at (202) 307-9744, or directly to Arthur Roderick, of the Investigative Services Division, at (202) 307-9195.
Reevaluate the goal to close 80 percent of warrants within one year, given that it has little meaning, and set a more appropriate goal.
(Agree.) The goal to close 80 percent of warrants within one year has been reevaluated. Over the past few years, USMS has focused heavily on the backlog issue. Districts were directed to concentrate their efforts on older cases, instead of cases under one year old. As noted in the report, the closure rate for oases under one year old had been between 85 and 87 percent. However, the established 80 percent goal was kept static throughout the backlog initiative, because we anticipated that the emphasis on closing older cases would reduce our closure rate for cases under one year old. Having now met the Attorney General's goal of a 20 percent reduction in older cases, we will continue to monitor the backlog, while shifting some attention and resources previously devoted to the backlog reduction effort to other areas. As of January 1, 2000, the goal will change as follows: "close 85 percent of warrants within one year."
Establish a quantifiable goal for apprehending violent fugitives.
(Agree.) USMS is currently reviewing its objectives for apprehension of violent fugitives. By January 1,2000, USMS expects to have a new quantifiable goal for apprehending violent fugitives.
Either abolish the QPI system or correct the system to make it an effective management tool.
(Agree.) It should be noted that the report itself states that the USMS's arrest of violent felons increased a total of 27 percent from FY 1994 to FY 1998, with a notable increase from year to year. We believe that this increase can be attributed, at least in part, to the QPI system and Headquarters' emphasis on arrest of violent felons. However, we agree that the system has never fully fulfilled its originally intended purpose. The QPI system was initially developed to concentrate efforts in two areas: arrest of violent felons and reduction of backlogged fugitive cases.
The Investigative Services Division has developed a Case Management System which classifies fugitives in Offender Categories based on charges, original charge, and criminal history. This system tracks violent crime and major drug trafficking offenses and will be used to concentrate districts' efforts on the arrest of"15 Most Wanted" fugitives, Major Case felons, and Offender Category 1 fugitives (violent and narcotic fugitives). By January 1,2000, a new, quantifiable goal, based on the percentage of arrests in Offender Category 1, will be implemented.
District and Headquarters Report that the Analytical Support Unit (ASU) has not Provided the Level of Investigative Assistance to the Fugitive Apprehension Program as Intended.
The USMS reorganization of Headquarters, which began in 1994, established the Analytical Support Unit (ASU) within the Investigative Services Division to manage law enforcement information and provide analytical support to fugitive and threat investigations, as well as protective operations. To the extent its resources have allowed, ASU has, in fact, supported fugitive investigations on an ongoing basis:
In 1995, the unit was staffed with six full time permanent analyst positions. During 1995/96, ASU provided substantial assistance to fugitive operations. For six months, the unit supported the Tactical Apprehension Program (TAPS) to clear "cold" fugitive cases in high volume districts. In addition, ASU analysts conducted a pilot "cold" case fugitive initiative in six districts by querying multiple information sources to provide district offices with a variety of investigative leads. In 1996, ASU assumed responsibility for providing risk analyses to help determine protective measures for reproductive health care providers. Also in 1996, ASU supported the fugitive program by conducting four WIN training classes at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. Each class contained 24 students, at least one from each district. The training program lasted three days and focused on the use of WIN in warrant administration and fugitive investigation. The training prepared districts for WIN implementation and reinforced instruction for veteran users. In 1997, the USMS adopted a plan to support various sheriffs departments through ASU shared threat information; Also in 1997, ASU worked to implement WIN in all districts. At that time, approximately 40 districts did not have full access to WIN.
Due to a gradual reduction in staff and an increasing demand for threat analyses, ASU's support to fugitive investigations has suffered. It should be noted that ASU's ability to support the fugitive apprehension program as intended is greatly dependent on personnel resources available to administer ASU's workload, including threat analysis. The number of reported inappropriate communications to judicial officials processed/analyzed by ASU increased by 306 percent from 1996 to 1999, including a 269 percent increase in the number of such communications referred by local law enforcement. Yet, as workload increased, an analyst position was transferred from ASU to the Electronic Surveillance Unit (ESU) in 1996; an analyst suffered medical problems, rarely reported for work, and finally resigned in 1997; and another analyst left ASU in October 1999. Since all agency personnel actions for administrative positions are currently frozen, ASU staffing stands at three full-time analysts at this time. This staffing level is barely adequate to manage the still growing workload of judicial threat analyses, reproductive health care risk analyses, law enforcement information support, and fugitive investigations support.