Court Security for Judges, Officers and Court Personnel

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The Court Security publication was created for Judges, Officers, and Court Personnel. The authors provide the perspective of a Judge and a Constable and address: Security Systems and Technology, Policy, Prevention through Design, Searches, Management and Supervision, Security Assessment, Bailiff functions, Jury Handling, Judicial Protection and Workplace Violence. The publication provides an excellent resource for evaluating current court security and for designing a new security system.

Authors / Contributors

Table of Contents

A Message From Your Authors


Chapter 1 Introduction to Court Security


Why Does My Facility Need Court Security

Modern Practices

Building Security Committees

Building Security Assessments

Court Security Policy

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

Court Security Funding

Chapter 2 Court Security Screening


Legal Aspects Of Court Security Screening

Searches of Persons Entering Public Buildings, In General

Searches Upon Entering the Courtroom

Notice and Implied Consent to Courthouse Searches

Administrative Search Factors

The Legal Aspects of Using Metal Detectors and X-Ray Machines

Manual Searches After Inconclusive or Positive Scan

Written Screening Policy

Setting Up The Screening Station



Who Do You Screen

Screening Equipment And Operations

Visual Observation

General Searching Protocols

Hand Searching

Principles of Metal Detection

Hand Held Metal Detector Screening

Walk Through Metal Detector Screening

X-Ray Screening

Trace Detectors

Mail Screening

Penetration Testing

Reporting and Documentation

Additional Training

Chapter 3 Management and Supervision of Court Security


Personnel Selection For Court Security Officers And Bailiffs

Minimum Qualifications

Selection and Hiring

Responsibility for Payment

Amount of Compensation


Court Security Assesments

Courthouse Architecture

Courthouse Plans

Goals of Courthouse Location and Design

The Exterior

The Interior

The Courtroom

The Bench (or “The Mighty Fortress”)

Chapter 4 Bailiff Function in Court Security



Prioritizing of Duties

Assignment to Courts Based On Court Activity

Bailiff Duties

Pre-session Search

Courtroom Placement

Court Service

Staying Alert

Courtroom Seating

Security During Trial

Security After Trial

Jury Handling

Pre-session Search of the Jury Room

Bailiff Conduct with the Jury

Serving the Jury During Trial

Serving the Jury During Deliberation

What Causes Mistrials

Judicial Relations

Chapter 5 Workplace Violence and Emergency Planning


Workplace Violence Prevention

Building Security Assessment

Workplace Safety Tips

Emergency Plans And Planning

Evacuation Plan

Fire Alarms


Bomb Threats and Bombs

Targets and Motives

Places Where Bombs are Hidden

Bomb Threats

Building Searches After a Bomb Threat is Received

Vulnerable Areas

Car Bombs

Mail Bombs

Mail Screening Techniques

What To Do With Suspicious Mail

Investigation of Suspicious Mail

Protocols for an Actual Bomb or Suspicious Package

Dangerous Persons

Everyone Has An Attitude

Lay Terms Describing Feelings

People Can “Lose It” In Any Court

A Fertile Field for Violence - Why?

Recognizing Potentially Violent Persons

Preventing or Controlling Anger and Frustration

You Can’t Stop a Crazy Person

Biological/Chemical Attack/Spills

Requirements for Stored Chemicals

Medical Emergency

Hostage/Kidnapping Situations

Various Strategies for the Victim

Plans of Action

Active Shooters

Active Shooter Plans

How To Respond When An Active Shooter Is In Your Vicinity

Planning Assessment for Active Shooter

Chapter 6 Modern Technology in Court Security


Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

Considerations For Designing A CCTV System

Alarms Systems

Access Control Systems

Photo Identification Systems

Chapter 7 Liability Concerns for Court Security


March 11, 2005, Fulton County, GA

Liability of the Person Committing the Violence

Excessive or Improper Use of Force by Bailiff or Other Officers

Liability for Failure to Protect

Liability for Mishandling of Incident

Liability for Other Negligence Related to Personnel

Premises Liability

Defenses to Theories of Liability

Liability Prevention and Reduction of Risk

A Look at the Future

Chapter 8 Judicial Protection


A Glimpse Into Assassins

Self Assessment

Personal Safety Checklist

Appendix A

Appendix B Chapter X: Court Security

Appendix C Daily Metal Detector Calibration Check Sheet

Appendix D Court Officer Improper Influence

Appendix E Courthouse Security Assessment

Appendix F Bomb Threat Checklist