Court building security:
Best practices and steps to implementation


NCSC's Court Consulting Services security team now offers training for judges and court staff to prepare for Shooter-in-Place and Hostage-Taking scenarios in conjunction with a court's first responders. Contact Timm Fautsko for more information.   

Operating a court building today is by its very nature a risky business. Day in and day out, court buildings are visited by a large volume of disgruntled and even lawbreaking citizens. Moreover, court buildings can be seen as an important symbolic target for those who wish to wreak mischief or terror.

In an effort to assist courts in the development and implementation of effective measures for court building security, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) has developed Steps to Best Practices, which sets forth guidelines for what constitutes best practices in various areas of court building security.

In addition to Steps, the NCSC's Guidelines for Implementing Best Practices in Court Building Security offers the following:

Phases: These are logical groupings of steps forming a temporary plateau in terms of security measures in place.

Topics: These are the subject areas into which steps in phases are organized.

Categories: These are sets of topics. There are four categories listed in priority order. (Note: Topics within each category are listed in alphabetical rather than priority order.)

* Category A. These are fundamental topics that must be addressed first in order to provide a base on which to place all of the others.

* Category B: These are topics that are critical topics to address.

* Category C: These are topics that are essential topics to address.

* Category D: These are topics that are important to address.