OFDT is the primary government agency in charge of federal programs involved with detainment of people in the custody of the United States while they wait for a trial or immigration proceedings. It also manages the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System (JPATS).
Until September 2001, the confinement of persons in federal custody awaiting a trial or immigration procedures had been the responsibility of both the U. S. Marshall’s Service (USMS) and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). But there had been growing concern among Department of Justice (DOJ) officials about the safety, cost, and efficiency of such a fragmented approach, especially as the number of detainees had been significantly increasing since the mid-1990s. Eventually those issues were the catalyst for the DOJ Appropriations Act of 2001, which, when Congress approved it, led to the creation of OFDT, with the objective that it would centralize the supervision of functions relating to the detention of federal prisoners and aliens awaiting adjudication and/or removal from the United States. In 2005 OFDT was also given the responsibility of managing JPATS.
Stakeholders include American citizens in neighborhoods where there are proposals for new detention centers to potentially be built; detainees and their legal representatives; private facilities hoping to garner contracts to house federal detainees, and technology businesses hoping to garner contracts for OFDT to utilize their equipment and/or services.
Michael A. Pearson has served as theFederal Detention Trustee
since July 5, 2010. He warned a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice at Michigan State University and a master’s degree in forensic sciences at George Washington University.