Protecting Court: A Practitioner's Guide to Court Security.

Author:Dare, James
Position:Book review

Protecting Court: A Practitioner's Guide to Court Security, by Jimmie H. Barrett Jr., Minneapolis, Minn., Mill City Press Inc., 2009, 152 pp.

"Where has this book been?" This was the first question that came to mind after reading Protecting Court: A Practitioner's Guide to Court Security. Lt. Jimmie H. Barrett Jr. authored a book for the sole purpose of ensuring safety in and outside our courts. The author concentrates not only on the physical environment, but addresses safety and security for each person who enters or conducts business inside a court building or courtroom, including judges and their staff, citizens called for jury duty, victims and witnesses, attorneys, law enforcement, probation/parole officers, clerks, advocates, family members, students, interns, volunteers, and the media. Each chapter demonstrates best practices in safety and security, laying the foundation for a secure and safe court environment.

The book is extremely informative and filled with actual incidents, analogies, court decisions and historical cases that build on the topic and keep the reader interested. As you read the book, you will begin to question the safety and security practices in your own court.

Courts can be an antagonistic system of justice, the catalyst at any moment for a horrific event. We can no longer ignore that 22 judges were killed in the U.S. from 1970-1999 or the fact that there have been 26 courthouse shootings from 1990-2005. This is a wake-up call for action, and this book provides the fundamentals to ensure safety and security is taken seriously.

It outlines historical events, offers unlimited resources and contains a step-by-step approach to keeping courts safe. The book has an outstanding list of resources, assessment tools, Web sites and agencies to obtain additional information to design security programs unique to your court. The information is current and includes discussion on newer technology such as cell phones and other electronic devices that may have an impact on safety and security in the courtroom.

Protecting Court covers many aspects of court safety and security including emergencies, security assessments, accountability, daily operations, courthouse management and case law/decisions. The principles of the book...

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