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Solutions for Correcting a Common Courthouse Security Problem

Posted by Ted Prestogeorge on Jun 21, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Prisoner Movement


By Ted Prestogeorge, Senior Architect

One common issue I have seen during my years of courthouse analysis is the lack of secure prisoner movement into the courthouse, to the cellblock, and from the cellblock to the courtroom. This problem is more prevalent in older and historic courthouses, but it is widespread nonetheless. However, this is an issue that can be remedied. While the solution may require construction, the project may be a relatively modest effort that does not require a large-scale reconfiguration of the courthouse.

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Beyond Architecture: Courthouse History, Community, and People

Posted by Matt Hemphill on Jun 14, 2018

Topics: courthouse design

By Matt Hemphill, Senior Architect

We have all been absorbed at one time or another by the drama that takes place inside a courthouse. “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Perry Mason”, “LA Law,” and countless other popular movies and television programs allow us a glimpse into the inner workings of a courthouse. Real-life courtroom drama – from local news to national spectacles like the OJ Simpson trial – have captivated audiences far and wide. Serious business goes on inside a courthouse, and we all know that. However, as a court planning consultant, I have been fortunate to gain an understanding of courthouses that goes beyond the courtroom walls. Apart from the architecture, a courthouse is an exciting place to be. When I enter a courthouse, I get an immediate sense that something critical is going on in the building and I want to be a part of it. But why? What makes me (and so many of us, it seems) fascinated by these special places? I can think of a few things that do it for me…

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School Security Should be as Important as Courthouse Security

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jun 7, 2018

Topics: school security


By Keith Fentress (President, Fentress, Inc.) and Mike Jones (President, Major Security Consulting and Design, LLC)

The country is still in shock after the recent school shootings in Santa Fe High School, TX (10 dead,13 injured) and Parkland High School, FL (17 dead, 14 injured). School shootings are becoming more commonplace as over 210,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since the tragic Columbine shootings in 1999.

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Has Your Office Gone to the Dogs? Mind your Open Office Manners!

Posted by Mary Talley on May 31, 2018

Topics: Flexible Workspace, Open Office Design, Collaborative Workspaces


By Mary Talley, Senior Analyst

It’s time for a few more friendly reminders from Miss Open Office Manners. In this installment, I discuss dogs in the open office, dressing for the open office, and open office wellness rooms. Enjoy.

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Can Courthouse Circulation be User-Friendly - Absolutely!

Posted by Alan Ruby on May 24, 2018

Topics: courthouse design, courthouse circulation


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

Just walking through a courthouse can be a stressful experience for a visitor. Whether being called as a witness or to serve on a jury, or just picking up documents from the clerk’s office, the serious nature of a courthouse can be intimidating. This article focuses on the steps that can be taken by architects and courthouse planners to ensure that public hallways create a welcoming positive impression for the visitor and are user-friendly.

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Are Your Jurors Comfortable Beyond a Reasonable Doubt?

Posted by Kurt Schlauch on May 17, 2018

Topics: Courtroom Design, courthouse design, courthouse adjacencies

By Kurt Schlauch, Lead Consultant

What are the odds that two court planning consultants, each with over 20 years experience in the same small company, had NEVER been called for jury duty? Further, what are the odds that they both would be called to serve for the first time at the same small county courthouse within several months of each other? AND both be selected to sit on the jury?

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Remote Work Policies Reduce Sick Leave

Posted by Ron Seibel on May 10, 2018

Topics: remote workforce, sick leave, paid time off


The benefits of allowing your employees to work from home are numerous and well-documented. In addition to the long list of environmental and work-life benefits, there is the solitude required when your employees’ heads are many levels deep in work. Then, with a click of a button, they can join a virtual meeting full of coworkers through fast and reliable teleconferencing. But, what may be one of the least recognized advantages to working from home? Sick days! Set up properly, your company’s policy on sick days can benefit both the company and the remote worker. And, companies with traditional offices can reduce sick days by allowing staff to work from home during illnesses and recovery.

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Creating a User-friendly Courthouse Lobby

Posted by Alan Ruby on May 3, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, courthouse design


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

The current public image of the courthouse is evolving from an imposing, awe-inspiring, and even intimidating symbol to one that is welcoming and user-friendly. I recently wrote about concepts that can be applied to the exterior of a courthouse to make it more welcoming. In my view, a welcoming lobby is an extension of a welcoming exterior. The main entrance lobby is the first interior courthouse space encountered by the public. This article explores some of the techniques used to create a user-friendly courthouse lobby that will likely enhance the visitor’s entire judicial experience.

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A Holistic Process for Managing the Performance of Remote Employees

Posted by Keith Fentress on Apr 26, 2018

Topics: Remote employee performance measurement


By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

I often hear the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I took the phrase to heart about five years ago, and began to focus heavily on measuring the performance of our employees, all of whom work remotely. I had graphs and scales for everything: How well employees supported company values. How much employees contributed to the company relative to other employees. Hours worked by employee by task. And so on. What I found was that my focus on measuring distracted me from the more important aspects of performance - accountability and transparency.

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Courthouse Design Tips: Creating a User-friendly Exterior

Posted by Alan Ruby on Apr 19, 2018

Topics: Courthouse Aesthetics, courthouse design


By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

My first experience with a courthouse was not good. In fact, it was terrifying and the memory has remained with me to this day. And it began on the courthouse steps before I walked through the front door. In my experience, the exterior image of a courthouse can range from an imposing and intimidating symbol such as the one I first experienced, to one that is welcoming and user-friendly. I believe this first impression can affect your entire judicial experience.

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