A well-designed courthouse facility has the ability to embody the court’s essential principles of openness and fairness, providing accessibility and security while allowing the judicial process to move forward unhindered and with increased efficiency and effectiveness. This topic provides standards and guidelines to follow when designing a modern courthouse that is secure, productive, and accessible to the public, as well as resources describing successful child-care programs based upon individual community needs.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
CourTools - Trial Court Performance Standards Measure Number 1.
Facility Management Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor List.
NCSC's module on the ADA and court related resources.
The field of courthouse planning and design is currently undergoing a transformation in the process by which buildings are conceived and built. The driving force behind this tranformation is the changing environmental and economic landscape, which has created a national trend to build courthouses that incorporate sustainable building principles.
Universal entry screening of everyone who enters a courthouse - the public, staff, and judges - is an essential part of any court security program. NCSC's Security Assessment Team has developed a four-phase plan courts can use to implement universal entry screening.
To ensure that courthouses "meet today's standards of protection," the author outlines a three-step process that includes a threat analysis, a court facility site survey, and a court security committee.
The author presents a "philosophical discussion" of the effects that securing the country's courthouses will have on the public's perception of their government and other civic institutions.
This article focuses on the future of courthouse design and includes such topics as child care, public access and accommodation, natural lighting, and planning for future growth and expansion.
This is a collection of photos of hundreds of county and parish courthouses taken by a person who appreciates their history, art and design.
This resource illustrates the efforts and concerns of using bonds to finance needed renovations in court facilities. This background paper by the Assembly Judiciary Committee outlines several legislative proposals for using bonds and illustrates some of the difficulties faced when considering new and existing courthouse construction and financing.
This resource contains a set of recommendations from the Courthouse Access Advisory Committee. This group is composed of 35 members, including designers and architects, disability groups, attorneys, members of the judiciary, court administrators, and others who developed design solutions and recommendations for accessible courthouses.
The Ada County Courthouse and Administration Building (Idaho) is an example of a facility that has achieved a LEED-EB Silver Certification in May 2005. This brochure outlines some of the features of this project for existing building (EB) certification.
The author explains that "going green" can be not only cost effective in energy savings but also in construction and renovation. He mentions two studies that show that green certified buildings outperform peers in occupancy rates, sale price, and rental rates. The construction of energy efficient and healthy places to work benefits both employees and the environment.