In 2017, we received several complaints about the practice of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) of placing adult and juvenile inmates in full shackles during their appearances before D.C. Superior Court. We therefore filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USMS in December 2017 to learn the circumstances under which it places pretrial detainees in shackles and the justification for its practices. We requested 12 specific categories of information about USMS shackling policies and practices.

In August 2018, having waited eight months and received no responsive information other than a single link to a publicly available website, we filed suit in federal court to obtain the documents to which we are entitled under FOIA.


In response to our lawsuit, the government produced the documents we sought.

Date filed

August 16, 2018