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Personal safety tips for judges and court staff update

May 19, 2021

The National Center for State Courts updated its list of personal safety recommendations for all court personnel first published in 2009. Recent tragic events have highlighted the vulnerability of judges and court staff - not only at work, but also at home. Judges and court staff are at risk and at all times should maintain awareness of their environment and take appropriate safety and security precautions. The updated document recommends 107 Personal Safety Tips for Judges and Court Staff and provides everyday precautions and behaviors to enhance personal safety and security.

They are organized into the following topics:

  • General Safety Tips
  • In the Courtroom
  • In Chambers
  • Throughout the Courthouse
  • In Parking Lots
  • While Commuting
  • At Home
  • In Public
  • Online
  • In the Media
  • While Campaigning

Reviewing this list periodically will help maintain situational awareness and will improve your chances of first preventing any kind of incident and second surviving one should it happen. This list of recommendations was revised from Taking Precautions: 101 Personal Safety Tips for Judges and Court Staff, published by the NCSC in 2009. It builds on additional NCSC work: Steps to Best Practices for Court Building Security (2016) and the Court Security Training program available here.

Additional cybersecurity resources and tip sheets are available from the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Additional court-centric personal safety resources are also available from the Judicial Family Institute (JFI).

For further information and additional court security resources, contact the National Center for State Courts at knowledge@ncsc.org.

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