To list and define the various types ofcrisis that can occur in a courtroom.Learning ObjectivesAfter this lecture, you should be able to complete the following Learning Outcomes14.1
14.1 Crisis in the CourtroomOVERVIEW• Between 1980 and 1993 there 3,096 threatening communications andassaults made against federal judges.• Between 1997 and 1998 there were 700 inappropriate or threateningcommunications to federal judges.• In a survey of Pennsylvania judges, 12 reported that they had beenattacked in their own courtroom, and 533 had been the target of threats.• A Youtube.com search using the terms “courtroom fight” revealed 515videos. A search using the terms “judge attacked” revealed 1060 videos.• A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health revealed thatDeputy sheriffs and courtroom bailiffs trailed only taxi drivers for thehighest workplace homicide rate.
14.1 Crisis in the CourtroomOVERVIEW• The courtroom is a breeding ground for crisis, as emotions run high,and oftentimes the target of revenge is sitting only feet away.• It is a constant juggling act to protect those in the courtroom withoutdefeating the constitutional principles of a free and open trial, dueprocess for civil litigants, and the ability of a defendant to face his or heraccusers as an innocent person till proven guilty.• The courtroom must be free of circumstances that may be consideredprejudicial, such as shackles, handcuffs, and even jail clothing whilecriminal defendants are in the presence of a jury.
To describe the obstacles tomaintaining a secure courtroom.Learning ObjectivesAfter this lecture, you should be able to complete the following Learning Outcomes14.2
14.2 ObstaclesObstacles to a Safe Courtroom• The Problem of FundingThere is a misperception that a courtroom must be a safe place due to the presence ofsecurity personnel. Those holding the purse strings are less inclined to appropriate funds.• The Problem of PreparednessIn many jurisdictions, courtroom security is carried out by retired police officers who are nolonger physically and mentally prepared for the task. There is also a lack of training.• The Problem of ComplacencyWithout constant training, it becomes easy for security personnel, especially in smallerjurisdictions, to become complacent.• The Problem of an Unsafe InfrastructureMany older courts facilities simply were not designed with safety and security in mind.
To explain the risk continuum and theuse of risk assessment techniques.Learning ObjectivesAfter this lecture, you should be able to complete the following Learning Outcomes14.3
14.3 Assessing RiskThe Risk ContinuumIt is critical that court personnel assess the risk of any givenproceeding. This risk assessment is based on a number of factors;• Criminal vs. Civil?• Will victims or their families be present?• Is there a chance for long term incarceration or death?• Is someone losing their property of children?• Does defendant have a violent history?• Has the defendant talked of or attempted escape?• Are there gang affiliations involved?
14.3 Assessing RiskThe Minnesota ModelMany courtroom facilities haveadopted the Risk AssessmentProfile developed by the state ofMinnesota Conference ofJudges (1997). It begins bylooking at the inherent risk levelof a proceeding.
14.3 Assessing RiskRISK CIVIL TRIAL CRIMINAL TRIALLOW • Class Actions • Defendant not presentMODERATE• Jury Trials.• Prisoner Petitions.• Pro Se Actions.• High-profile/ MediaIntensified.• Threat Assessment/• Moderate Rating• Strong Identification andIdeological views withknown threat groups• Defendant not in custody – onbond.• Threat assessment – Moderaterating.• High-profile/ Mediaintensified.• Probation or parole violators.• Highly emotional/ Inner-relationships.• Multiple defendants.• Repeat offender(s).• Anti-Society behavioralcharacteristics.HIGH• Highly emotional/ Inner-relationships• Associated violent historyor actions• Threat assessment – highrating• Strong identification and• Ideologicalviews with knownThreatgroups.• Threat assessment – Highrating.• Escapee from custody orcommitment.• Violent actions/ Outburstswhile in custody.• Defense or plea based oninsanity.• Mass or serial sexual predator.• Murderer/ contract killer.• Protected witness.• Multiple defendants.• Defendants with violentcriminal history.The Minnesota ModelIt then takes intoconsideration the inherent risklevel of the participants to theproceeding.Each proceeding is thenassigned a baseline risk level,and this level determines thelevel of staffing by securitypersonnel.Level 1 – LowLevel 2 – ModerateLevel 3 – HighLevel 4 – High (with enhancedsecurity).
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.EX: Traffic ticket, most misdemeanor offenses,sentencing to probation for minor offenses, smallclaims.
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.EX: Being sued, Tax court, property disputes,marital disputes, family services hearings.
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.EX: Typically involves a fear of losing something;child custody, contentious divorces, long-term ordeath penalty sentencing, losing property to agovernment entity.
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.EX: Any proceeding where a participant’s angertoward a specific person is apparent; the mostcontentious divorce cases, cases involving threatsagainst the judge, prosecutors, or cops, family members of victims present,opposing gang members present, anti-government types, volatile civil disputes.
14.3 Assessing RiskInconvenience Frustration Fear Directed AngerProfiling the Potential Emotional ResponseAnother method of profiling is to look at the potential emotionalresponse of the participants rather than the type of proceeding.The potential emotionality of a proceeding servesas a baseline for the deployment of resources.The level of emotionality is determined throughintelligence gathering, proceeding type, and pastinteractions with the participants.
14.3 Assessing RiskA Comprehensive Profiling SchemeThis scheme provides a baseline risk level based on allfactors; participants, proceeding type, and potentialemotionality.CIVIL FAMILY CIVIL ECONOMIC CIVIL PROTECTIVECRIMINAL NON-VIOLENTCRIMINAL VIOLENTNON-ELEVATED• Non-contesteddivorce• Family services-compliant parties• Bankruptcy• Small claims• Product liability• Protective Order-petitioner only• Initial appearance• Misdemeanor trial• Video arraignment• Status hearingELEVATED• Contested divorce• Family services-noncompliant parties• Parental rights• Foreclosure• IRS proceedings• Tax protestors• partner lawsuits• Seizures/ forfeitures• Land disputes• Protective order-defendant present• Involuntarycommitments• High profile/ media• Defendant in custody• Victims present• Verdict/ Sentencing• Contempt of Court• Trial – Defendant incustody• Victim family present• Bond hearing• Initial appearance• Gang affiliation• VerdictDANGEROUS• Contested divorce-Child custody or priorthreats• Family services-childremoval• Tax protestor-priorthreats• Lawsuits-prior threats• Protective order-defendant present w/prior threats• Significant fraud-victims present• Victims present-priorthreat against defendant• Verdict-victim familypresent• Sentencing• Defendant testimony• Opposing gangpresentUnder this scheme there are 15 risk environments, with a predetermined resourceallocation for each, with additional resources allocated as needed and ascircumstances change.
To summarize both reactive andproactive courtroom securitymeasures.Learning ObjectivesAfter this lecture, you should be able to complete the following Learning Outcomes14.4
14.4 Security MeasuresProactive MeasuresPrisoner Transport –1. Prisoners should be transported in a caged vehicle with abarrier between them and the security personnel.2. Each transport should include at least two security personnel.3. Both the prisoner and the transport vehicle should be fullysearched prior to every transport.4. Prisoners must be kept under observation at all times.5. Prisoners should never have their restraints removed untilsafely inside the building and in a secure location.
14.4 Security MeasuresProactive MeasuresPre and Post-Hearing Activities1. Once inside the court facility, detained prisoners should beheld in a secure holding cell until being escorted to and fromthe courtroom.2. Clothing changes should take place inside the holding cell.3. At no time should an unrestrained prisoner be left alone with asingle security officer.4. When taken to or from the courtroom, prisoners should bemoved in restraints by a secure route, and by at least twosecurity guards. Restraints should not be removed until justoutside the courtroom door. Prisoners should not be allowedto talk to anyone but their lawyers and security personnel.
14.4 Security MeasuresProactive MeasuresCourtroom Security• Level One: No security recommended unless specialcircumstances call for it.• Level Two: At least one security officer should be present.• level Three: At least two security officers should be present• Level Four: At least three security officers should be present.These requirements are in addition to those security officersescorting and guarding detained prisoners.When detained prisoners are present, facilities follow a one-on-one-plus-onestandard. This means that for every detained prisoner, there should be a securityofficer detailed specifically to them, with at least one additional officer in thecourtroom over and above those detailed to protect the courtroom. So forexample, a level three hearing with two detained defendants would require2 courtroom officers plus 2 transport officers plus 1 additional = 5 officers.
14.4 Security MeasuresProactive MeasuresCourtroom SecurityInside the courtroom, officers should be positioned to interceptany sudden advances toward the judge, jury, or witness, as wellas to block any possible escape routes by a detained defendant.
14.4 Security MeasuresReactive MeasuresCrisis Alerts• Code Green – A security officer signals this code when tensionsare rising inside the courtroom and the potential for violence isincreasing.• Code Blue – Signals violence inside the courtroom, such as afight. Reinforcements respond quickly and in force.• Code Red – Signals an escaped prisoner. Facility immediatelylocked down.• Code White – Signals that weapons have been used. Additionalofficers are able to respond with appropriate caution.• Code Orange – Signals a hostage situation.
14.4 Security MeasuresReactive MeasuresCrisis AlertsAll security personnel are trained in what to do in the event any ofthese alerts are sounded. Also, all judges receive the sametraining, and are able to signal the same alerts, usually through asilent alarm system.All security personnel have communication devices with acentral dispatch center. Additionally, in the event of a crisis, thereis a predetermined command structure in place.Crisis intervention then =Communication + Command Structure + Response Protocols
14.4 Security MeasuresTrends in Courtroom SafetyVideo ArraignmentThe court system is limited in its ability to keep a criminaldefendant from being present in the courtroom. However duringARRAIGNMENT they are able to. This is typically a very shorthearing during which the judge advises the defendant of thecharges against them, and asks how they wish to plead.Many jurisdictions are now doing arraignments of detainedprisoners via video-conferencing. The defendant never leavesthe jail. This reduces the possible danger of bringing unrestrainedprisoners into the courtroom at a very early point in theirincarceration, a time which is typically very tense as the reality oftheir circumstances hits them fully.The use of this method has been criticized.
14.4 Security MeasuresTrends in Courtroom SafetyNew Courthouse DesignNew courthouses are being designed with safety in mind. Theyare designed to maximize the containment of a crisis by:1. Minimizing opportunities for escape2. Maximizing the safety of judges3. Preventing contact between detained prisoners and thepublic
14.4 Security MeasuresTrends in Courtroom SafetyNew Courthouse DesignOne of the most important elements of design is the flow pattern.This involves circulation patterns inside the building that nevercross or comingle.• The Public Circulation System – This system allows for public access through apublic entrance to all public service areas inside the building. People movethrough this zone unescorted.• The Restricted Circulation System – These areas are off limits to the public. Itincludes courtrooms (locked except during hearings), Judge’s chambers, andsecurity officers’ areas. This zone includes a secure parking garage for judges, witha secure walkway and elevators between the garage and their chambers.• The Secure Circulation System – This is the zone reserved for prisoner transport. Itruns from a secure sally port to holding cells outside the courtrooms. Thecorresponding walkways and elevators never cross or comingle the other zones.
14.4 Security MeasuresTrends in Courtroom SafetyOther Design Considerations• Each courtroom should have a clear separation between thespectator area and the area where the lawyers and participantssit. This may be accomplished with a short partition wall, or evenbullet proof glass.• The Judge’s bench should of a height and configuration thatimpedes a hostile advance by someone, and should be equippedwith some type of silent duress alarm.• Courtroom furniture should be designed without hidden recesseswhere guns or other weapons could be hidden.