Department of Justice


Department of Justice

Mission Statement

The Department of Justice, established in 1870, represents the citizens of the United States in enforcing the law in the public interest and plays a key role in providing protection against criminal activity. The Department is made up of 32 offices, boards, divisions and bureaus with a wide range of functions.

The Department's litigation function is split among six legal divisions and 94 U.S. Attorneys' Offices. The legal divisions include the Criminal, Civil, Civil Rights, Tax, Antitrust, and Environment and Natural Resources Divisions. These divisions conduct litigation and formulate Departmentwide policies in their respective subject areas. The U.S. Attorneys' Offices conduct litigation in defense and on behalf of the United States government, and they prosecute criminal offenses in the Federal district courts.

The primary operational functions of the Department are performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Bureau of Prisons (BOP), and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS). The FBI investigates more than 200 categories of violations of Federal law, identifies and neutralizes the activities of foreign powers and their agents by conducting counterintelligence and counterterrorism measures, and provides assistance to other Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies. The DEA investigates major violators of controlled substances laws who operate on interstate and international levels, and it manages a national narcotics intelligence system in cooperation with Federal, State and foreign law enforcement agencies. The INS facilitates the entry into the country of persons legally admissible and grants them benefits to which they are entitled, and it prevents entry and the granting of benefits to those who are not so entitled. The BOP maintains secure, safe and humane correctional institutions for the Federal inmate population. The USMS provides for the security of the Federal courts and the safety of Federal judges, executes Federal warrants and court orders, and handles Federal prisoners and provides for their security and transportation to correctional facilities.

Other key components within the Department include the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), the U.S. Trustees' Offices, and the Community Relations Service (CRS). The OJP collects, analyzes and disseminates statistical information on crime and the criminal justice system, and it manages criminal justice research and other grant programs. The U.S. Trustees establish, supervise and maintain panels of private trustees to serve in Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation cases, supervise the standing trustees who administer Chapter 12 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases, and play an active administrative role in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. The CRS provides conciliation and mediation services to communities in resolving disputes, disagreements or difficulties relating to discriminatory practices.

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