Chapter 14: Courthouse Security
an emergency, all prisoners will be brought from the court and holding areas to the
USMS central cellblock via the secure prisoner circulation system. The prisoner
circulation system is comprised of prisoner sallyports, corridors, elevators, and
stairwells. Evacuations from the building will be handled by the USMS through the
Emergency Egress Into Unsecured Areas. In the interest of security, remote exits are
not recommended. A remote exit can allow unscreened access to secure space, usually
through someone holding the door open for a seemingly harmless visitor. If a remote
exit is unavoidable, it must be self-locking and equipped with a remote alarm and
interior CCTV camera, both monitored at the USMS Command and Control Center.
Where permissible and as per code, remote exits should be equipped with magnetic
locks or electric strikes connected to an alarm/time delay mechanism or the fire
alarm/sprinkler system. Electric locking systems on remote doors should be connected
to battery backup power and an emergency generator. The system must remain locked
from the lobby side during power failures.
Intrusion Detection. Normally, the first line of protection is the responsibility of GSA
and is accomplished through the installation of building intrusion-detection and locking
systems. The USMS installs security systems on any safe, vault, or secure room in the
Clerk's Office, USMS, and other judiciary-related offices. Interior intrusion alarms
must be incorporated into the USMS security system and/or GSA's perimeter
intrusion-detection system. In some cases, these two systems can be combined and
linked off-site to more than one location.
Duress Alarm Devices. Duress alarm devices are installed as specified for
courtrooms, libraries, judicial and judiciary-related offices, and other site and building
locations. Duress alarm devices should be logically zoned for connection to the USMS
Command and Control Center.
Secure Perimeter Around Prisoner-Occupied Areas. A secure perimeter system
must surround the USMS central cellblock and courtroom holding cell areas. See
Requirements and Specifications for Special Purpose and Support Space Manual.
Entry. All public entrances must be provided keylocks. Each courtroom must be keyed
separately with a sub-master. Doors from restricted circulation, excluding fire exits,
must have free access from restricted circulation and access control on the courtroom