Why Courthouses Need Strong Security

September 20th, 2019

While we don’t want to think of the halls of justice can be a place of violence, incidences of courtroom violence continues to rise. According to research, 52% of judges have been threatened and 25% have been physically approached by someone with malicious intent. Therefore, in order to support the safety of the justice system, courthouses need a security system to keep everyone protected.

Benefits of Courthouse Surveillance

When you enter the courtroom there is an expectation of safety. The entry into the courthouse has electronic monitors, the courtroom itself has a bailiff to keep things under control. However, even with these tools in place there are several benefits to installing security cameras in the courthouse.

  1. Deterrence: The presence of security cameras in a courthouse can help stop violent behavior as it has been demonstrated that potential agitator will act out less if they are aware they are being watched.
  2. Monitors Criminal Activity: When correctly placed, surveillance cameras enable operators to monitor on video to respond quickly and intercept any criminal activity.
  3. Visual Evidence: Should an incident occur in or around the courthouse, video security cameras can provide a record of what occurred in case the incident requires further investigation.
  4. Remote Viewing: Since IP surveillance cameras can transmit digital camera feeds over a network, authorized users can access video remotely through their internet.
  5. Protect Employees and the General Public: Tensions in the courtroom can be high, often resulting in outbursts from defendants, family members or other individuals. Surveillance cameras can detect and stop things before they get out of hand.

Tips For Installing Video Surveillance Cameras in the Courthouse

Any surveillance system is useless if it is not placed, configured and installed correctly. Here are some suggestions to take into consideration:

  • What security systems do you have currently?
  • Has there been criminal activity around or in the courthouse?
  • Has there been any instances of courthouse employees being confronted or attacked?
  • Where are your high risk areas?
  • Place surveillance cameras at all entrances and exits.
  • Make sure all hallways and lobbies are surveilled for any disruptive or criminal acts.
  • Place security cameras throughout the courtrooms to monitor and record all activities.
  • Mount security cameras outside to monitor the parking lot, walkways and around the courthouse itself.

Other Factors To Consider When Installing Video Surveillance Cameras In The Courtroom.

While some judges are not in favor of cameras in the courtrooms fearing that the sight of the camera will affect witnesses and make them reluctant to testify, and that both witnesses and jurors will worry about their own safety if they know they are being recorded. Yet studies have shown that state court that allow cameras in the courtrooms have not reported any unfavorable results. 

Although violence in the courtroom is not the norm, there are many examples that disturbances got out of hand and turned violent. The threats against judges, attorneys, and the courthouse are very real and do happen. Video surveillance cameras can assist in maintaining order and decorum and maintaining a higher level of security in the courthouse. SilverHammer Surveillance has over 20 years of experience in providing top notch security for all types of security including businesses, educational institutions and government.