Criminal Justice:

Who Should Be Responsible for State Fugitives--the FBI or U.S. Marshals?

GGD-86-115BR: Published: Sep 10, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the feasibility of transferring the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP) program to the U.S. Marshals Service.

GAO found that: (1) under the UFAP program, FBI assists state and local governments in apprehending fugitives who have fled to avoid prosecution, custody, confinement, or testimony; (2) the Marshals Service already has primary responsibility for apprehending certain federal fugitives such as prison escapees, bond defaulters, and parole violators; (3) although FBI might experience some degradation in agent training or morale or in the assistance it provides to state and local law enforcement agencies as a result of a UFAP program transfer, there is no evidence that significant problems would occur in those areas; (4) Marshals Service officials stated that the Service would not routinely use a task force approach if it had responsibility for UFAP investigations; and (5) transfer of the program could free FBI agents to work on higher priority matters. GAO believes that there are no clear-cut answers as to whether or not the UFAP program should be transferred to the Marshals Service.

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