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Case Study: Even Judges Can Surrender Space to Save Money

Posted by Kurt Schlauch on Dec 14, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

“The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own personal example.” - John Wooden

By Kurt Schlauch, Lead Consultant

Have you ever attended an overcrowded school? Shared a small cubicle at the office? Crowded space is a reality faced by many organizations, including courts. Judges and court managers responsible for controlling space occupancy and expenditures have a range of remedies at their disposal. For example, with advances in technology, courthouse space reduction has been accomplished by shrinking the size of libraries and file rooms. However, the largest quantity of space in many courthouses is associated with the judges — the courtrooms and chambers. Any effort to achieve courthouse space savings may need to address these judicial spaces as well.

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Courthouse Technology: Paper Files to Virtual Trials

Posted by Kurt Schlauch on May 25, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Technology, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization



By Kurt Schlauch, Senior Consultant

It’s no secret that technology is transforming our daily lives. Phone booths have nearly vanished from urban landscapes (and with the rise in e-commerce, I have to wonder if shopping malls are far behind). With the tiny handheld units responsible for rendering phone booths obsolete, we can now order dinner, pay the mortgage, or hail a taxi.

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Caseload Management Can Lead to Better Courtroom Utilization

Posted by Keith Fentress on Oct 13, 2016

Topics: Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

By Mary Talley, Senior Analyst

A sustained increase in court caseload often means that more judges are needed to hear the cases, which results in a need for more courtrooms. For courts that are already fully-staffed, the only solution is an expansion to the current building or a brand new courthouse – options that don’t relieve the short-term space need and that are often difficult or impossible in jurisdictions with tight budgets.

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Collaboration in Open Offices: Opportunity or Obligation?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Aug 25, 2016

Topics: Open Office Design, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization, Collaborative Workspaces

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architectural Consultant

Collaborative workplaces have become the new standard for companies and are synonymous with high performance and innovation. In office design, collaborative workplace cultures are supported by an open office layout that encourage employee interaction. But is that layout right for every organization, and does it always produce beneficial results?

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Top 3 Space Functionality Concerns in American Courthouses

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jul 30, 2015

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

Last week, I introduced a new series on quantitative measures used in courthouse planning. Today, I’m going to address the first quantitative measure criterion: Space Functionality, the extent to which space supports the number and operations of judges and staff, and functions properly for adjacencies, layout, accessibility, and circulation.

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Courthouse Performance Metrics: An Introduction

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jul 22, 2015

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

I have written many posts about courthouse planning in the last year. From space allocation to courthouse design, we’ve explored these issues from a qualitative perspective. In today’s entry, I am going to shift gears and begin a series on courthouse design and planning from a quantitative perspective.

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Courtroom Layout Considerations: Where to Place the Judge's Bench

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jul 10, 2015

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

In my previous articles on courtroom layout options, I have addressed such issues as sightlines, furniture options, and access requirements. My focus in this post will be on the core element of the courtroom: the location of the judge's bench.

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Reducing Courthouse Operational Costs through Good Design

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jun 11, 2015

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization

A good initial design can be a significant factor in reducing courthouse operational costs. By contrast, less than optimal design features can have just the opposite effect. In this blog, I will explore three principal design considerations that can have the greatest impact on future courthouse operational costs.
The first and foremost of these is circulation. Circulation can be one of the greatest challenges in initial courthouse design because of the need to have three separate circulation patterns for judges, prisoners, and the public. As an example, I recently toured a newly constructed courthouse in Missouri. Although the spaces in this courthouse were well finished and met all current functional courthouse standards, the overall layout of the design was not as well planned. The design had produced circuitous circulation patterns with a rambling, inefficient network of narrow hallways.

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Reducing Space in the Clerk's Office

Posted by Keith Fentress on Dec 25, 2014

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization, Courthouse Mobile Workforce Solutions

In my previous blog on courthouse space reduction, I discussed how mobility and workspace sharing practices can be applied to probation and parole offices. In this post, I will address the potential for reducing space in a clerk’s office. Although probation and parole offices are similar to the clerks office in that they both reside primarily in office space, these office types have one key difference. In probation and parole offices, mobile work practices are an inherent characteristic of the officers’ daily routine. This is not the case with most clerks’ office staff. However, many clerks office staff might be able to engage in mobile work practices and, thus, support workplace sharing if office policies and procedures were to encourage this practice.

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Probation and Parole Office Space Reduction

Posted by Keith Fentress on Dec 18, 2014

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Space Reduction and Utilization, Courthouse Mobile Workforce Solutions

As noted in our Courthouse Space Reduction post, many space reduction practices can be effectively applied to courthouse components occupying office space such as a probation and parole office, clerk’s office, and other office space functions. Let’s consider the probation and parole office first.

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