On February 18, 2021, the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers presented a webinar about ensuring a safe, respectful, government-provided forum for the resolution of disputes, which is a bedrock principle of a democratic justice system. The parties, witnesses, jurors, judicial officers, and court staff in the pursuit of justice are entitled to safeguards against intimidation, threats, and coercion whether at the courthouse, in the community, in their personal lives, or over the internet and social media. Thankfully, numerous training programs, plans and tactics have been developed over the years to protect the places, people, and processes charged with delivering justice.
Yet, in today’s world many of the most recent and troubling threats to the wellbeing of judicial systems have been largely unexpected, including the pandemic, the rise in domestic terrorism, and violent acts generated by widespread, unfounded conspiracy theories despite fair, unbiased adjudicated lawsuits to the contrary.
These pressures present new and chilling impacts on the rule of law and those charged with implementing it. This seminar offers advice and counsel on how to address both common and unforeseen threats and disruptions to judicial and court safety and security.
This complementary 75-minute webinar included the following topics:
- Methods, techniques, and ideas to create safer courthouse environments in the midst of COVID-19;
- Useful self-help personal security practices for judges, court staff and court users;
- Strategies and options to prevent and respond to violence directed at justice institutions; and
- Five basic essentials of an effective court security system regardless of court size or jurisdiction
Hon. John Russo, Chair, NAPCO Board; Common Pleas Court of Ohio in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland)
- Hon. Thomas A. Delaney, Superior Court of California in Orange County (Santa Ana)
- Mr. Sean Gibbs, Director, Security Department, Arizona Judicial Branch in Maricopa County (Phoenix)
- Hon. Anne Haynie, Senior Judge, District Court of Kentucky in Jefferson County (Louisville)
- Mr. Nathan Hall, Court Security Expert, National Center for State Courts
- Mr. Marcus Reinkensmeyer, Director of Court Services, Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts
- Mr. Timm Fautsko (ret.), Security Expert, National Center for State Courts
- Slide Deck (PDF)
- Presenter Bios (PDF)
- Taking Precautions: 101 Personal Safety Tips for Judges and Court Staff (PDF)
- Courts Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Guide and Template (PDF)
- Court Security Pandemic Management Plan – Maricopa County (PDF)
- Arizona Court Security Practices (PDF)
- Arizona State Courts Courthouse Security Assessment Checklist (PDF)
- Arizona Court Security Committee Report: Ensuring Secure, Open, and Publicly Accessible Courts (PDF)
- Steps to Best Practices for Court Building Security (PDF)