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Blog

We the Jury ... Require a Proper Jury Box Design

Posted by Ted Prestogeorge on Aug 3, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Technology

By Ted Prestogeorge, Senior Architect

A basic tenet that drives our modern judicial system is the principle that an accused person is entitled to a jury of peers. This basic right attaches significant importance to the role of the jury, which requires an equally important venue – the jury box.

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Courtroom Mock-Up: Key to Unlocking Successful Design

Posted by Matt Hemphill on Jul 13, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Renovation/Construction/Economics, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Technology

 

By Matt Hemphill, Senior Architect

If you are designing a new courthouse or renovating existing space, seriously consider budgeting time and money for the construction of a courtroom mock-up. I realize that not every courtroom project can have a full-scale model, and many computer programs allow for walk-through animation. However, nothing compares to the feeling of walking through a space and experiencing it. It can save taxpayers money in the long run and will lead to better communication between the design team, general contractor, and end-users.

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Courthouse Planning: What’s Your Next Move?

Posted by Trish Lomonosov on Jul 6, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Aesthetics, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Technology

by Trish Lomonosov, Senior Analyst/Planner

If your courthouse space is maxed out, you may find yourself getting pretty creative to repurpose space (think storage closet conversion). Or your operations may be suffering due to the quality of your space. Either way, you may be looking for a sustainable solution but might be overwhelmed by the options, not even knowing where to begin – much like a game of chess. You know you need a strategy but it has not yet crystallized for you. Have you considered undertaking a comprehensive courthouse planning exercise to take a deep dive into analyzing your court’s past and present trends and developing a vision for the future?

Courthouse planning (often referred to as a needs assessment) includes three main elements: an analysis of workload and personnel, an evaluation of your current courthouse, and an execution strategy for projects to improve your space. Together, these elements provide a game plan for improving space, which should, in turn, improve court operations. Let’s focus on these elements one at a time.

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8 Most Important Features of Courtroom Holding Cells

Posted by Alan Ruby on Jun 15, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Technology

 

 

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architect

During a recent planning visit to a small Texas courthouse, I walked through a door at the side of the primary courtroom and encountered the courtroom holding cell shown in the above photo. My first reaction was “nice mural.” My second reaction was “What is it doing in a holding cell?” Was I looking at a leftover stage set for a western movie? Nope. The courthouse security officer assured me that the holding cell and the mural were for real.

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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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Transitioning from Court Work to Telework

Posted by Keith Fentress on Mar 16, 2017

Topics: Courthouse Technology, Courthouse Mobile Workforce Solutions

By Mary Talley, Senior Court Analyst

In recent years, teleworking has become an increasingly popular trend. Organizations are shrinking office space and dramatically reducing rent budgets. While there will always be jobs that cannot be done remotely – retail work, positions that require direct customer contact, etc. – most are candidates for some degree of telework. But is the position of court clerk a good candidate? I believe the answer is YES (with some parameters, which I’ll discuss in this blog).

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Evidence Presentation Systems: Design Solutions for Small Courtrooms

Posted by Keith Fentress on Nov 10, 2016

Topics: Courthouse Technology

By Matt Hemphill, Senior Architectural Consultant

Over the past 15 years, the use of evidence presentation systems (EPS) has become commonplace in courtrooms of every size and type around the country. The expanded use of this technology has greatly benefited trial proceedings but successfully incorporating the technology into a courtroom can be challenging. This is a story of one such challenge, but with a happy ending.

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Top Space Concerns: How Does Your Courthouse Measure Up? [Infographic]

Posted by Keith Fentress on Sep 1, 2016

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Technology

 

By Keith Fentress, Executive Consultant

The dedication and opening of a new courthouse is always an exciting and monumental event, filled with ceremony, speakers, and celebration. It’s also exceedingly rare. The average courthouse in the U.S. is over 50 years old and funding for new courthouse construction, especially within the past decade during the economic slowdown, is scarce. While most courthouses are impressive structures, how well the building functions for its occupants and mission may not be as sound.

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Back to the Future: How Will Technology Shape Our Courtrooms?

Posted by Keith Fentress on Aug 18, 2016

Topics: Courthouse Technology

By Alan S. Ruby, Senior Architectural Consultant

Growth in Technology is everywhere. Where will technology lead us in future courtroom design? What will future courtrooms be like, and is your court ready for these coming changes?

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Enlightened Justice: Daylighting in Courtrooms

Posted by Keith Fentress on Jan 14, 2016

Topics: Courthouse Security, Courthouse Space Standards and Functionality, Courthouse Processes and Planning, Courthouse Technology

I recently received a comment on my Justice in the Dark post regarding natural light, helping to create a more pleasant environment in a courtroom while having the added benefit of reducing energy costs. I briefly responded that I couldn’t agree more! Now, let me take the opportunity to elaborate.

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