***** Protecting Court: A Practitioner’s Guide to Court Security. By Jimmie H. Barrett; published by Mill City Press, www.protectingcourt.com (Web); 152 pages; $56.95.
The criminal justice system encompasses myriad entities, all accountable for protecting society and meting out punishment. The conflicts that are resolved in courts of law—and their casts of characters—present constant challenges for those tasked with protecting courthouses. One of those challenges is getting judges and court administrators to recognize the dangers inherent in the court system. Jimmie H. Barrett’s Protecting Court: A Practitioner’s Guide to Court Security provides a clear blueprint for how to get the job done.
This thoroughly researched book is divided into eight chapters that cover topics ranging from security assessments to emergency operations. Barrett, court security supervisor for the Arlington County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office and a former department deputy, provides a historical perspective using case law and pictures to illustrate how court security has evolved over the past decade. Anecdotal scenarios help the reader understand this complex information.
The text provides several examples of security industry best practices, including crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED), which he claims has been very successful in other countries.
Barrett has done his homework, and his experience as a sheriff’s officer and practitioner enhances the book’s credibility. Protecting Court: A Practitioner’s Guide to Court Security is a must-read for every officer assigned to protect courthouses. It will be a welcome resource for those in the private security industry as well.
Reviewer: Brian L. Royster, Ed.D., is a detective sergeant first class with the Electronic Surveillance Unit of the New Jersey State Police. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association Command Institute for Law Enforcement Executives. He is a member of ASIS International.