Department of Justice

The Department of Justice is a cabinet agency which is responsible for enforcement of constitutional laws at the federal level. The Department of Justice also has a mandate to protect the American public against foreign and domestic threats, as well as preventing crime within the country. The department was established in 1870 and is made up of over 30 offices, divisions, bureaus and boards, each with its own functions. The Department of Justice therefore has numerous functions.

For ease of administration, the department is divided into six divisions namely Criminal, Civil, Civil Rights, Tax, Antitrust, Environment and Natural Resources Division. There are 94 Attorney’s Offices representing the Department of Justice as well. The main function of these divisions is to carry out litigation in their specific field on behalf of the federal government. This goes as far as prosecution of individuals who have committed criminal and other offenses in federal courts. A large number of immigration-related offenses are also handled by one or more divisions of the Department of Justice.

In order to carry out its mandate, the Department of Justice has operative bodies including the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Immigration and Naturalization Services, US Marshalls Service and Drug Enforcement Administration. Each of these has a specific range of mandates that they are supposed to fulfil. The Bureau of Prisons and the Office of Justice Programs are other key components of the Department of Justice.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service has oversight of all issues to do with immigration including visa application and processing, handling of illegal immigrants, provision of immigration status and more.