challenges of court system administration

Part 1

The objective of this assignment is to enable you to demonstrate your understanding of problems and opportunities related to court security. Providing for appropriate security is a challenge faced by court administrators in an age of heightened concern about possible terrorism or other forms of violent outbreaks associated with court processes. Given the changes in court workloads as well as the growth in alternative mechanisms for resolving disputes (e.g., pre-trial meetings, out-of-court settlement conferences, informal settlements, or legal strategy conversations and mediations), judicial proceedings have spilled beyond the walls of the courtroom.

Here is a case in point: In the Los Angeles Superior Courts, a case may be called in one of the courtrooms but the judge may decide to order the parties to attempt to settle their differences prior to the case being heard in open court through a settlement conference or mediation. However, in most courthouses, the facilities for such conversations are virtually nonexistent. For example, at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center on West Temple Street in downtown Los Angeles, benches in hallways, a vacant jury room, or even a corner table in the cafeteria on the first floor are typical venues for these types of sessions. Although normal security procedures are in effect at the building entrances (e.g., X-ray machines, hand wands, armed L.A. County Sheriff officers, CCTV cameras), courtrooms (e.g., court security officers), and for certain secured areas (e.g., electronic card access, CCTV cameras), officers are not on duty nor are cameras evident in every area where out-of-court meetings may occur. Given that many people who access a courthouse on any given day are angry or disgruntled and possibly have histories of violence, the spilling of court-related proceedings into nonsecure areas of the courthouse may be cause for concern from a security perspective. Yet, funds for expansion in security precautions are often limited and under most budget scenarios, court administrators who oversee facility security must manage this new wrinkle creatively.

  • In an essay of 400-600 words, discuss your ideas for how security in a courthouse or justice center needs to be managed when proceedings are going on not only in courtrooms but also in other areas of the facilities, such as vacant jury rooms, attorney conference rooms, benches in hallways, other meeting rooms, the detention area, and even the cafeteria.  
  • Include your thoughts about what your general security goals should be as well as your specific recommendations for addressing these types of situations, especially when limited available funds necessitate a clear prioritization of possible options.

Part 2

The objective of this assignment is to enable you to demonstrate your understanding of factors that should be considered in policy development to ensure that legal requirements are met and that best practices in management are applied to court management, specifically. Write an essay of 3–4 pages in which you consider the following questions: 

  • How does a court system cope with a “changing of the guard” when a new administration is elected and key executives and managers are replaced, and/or when policy changes direction as a new political party assumes power? 
  • How does a new legal interpretation resulting from a court’s decision on an existing law related to court procedures, and how does the passage of a new law affect court administration? 
  • What kinds of management best practices would you, as a court administrator, implement to ensure appropriate levels of continuity, efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness when significant changes occur that impact the court system? 

Your response to these questions should focus on either the federal courts or a state court system of your choosing to limit the scope of your essay.

APA and in-cite citations for both

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