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Violence in the Judicial Workplace: One State's Experience

Donald J. Harris, Charlotte L. Kirschner, Kristina Klatt Rozek and Neil Alan Weiner
The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Vol. 576, Courthouse Violence: Protecting the Judicial Workplace (Jul., 2001), pp. 38-53
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1049917
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Violence in the Judicial Workplace: One State's Experience
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Abstract

This article reports on a survey of judicial safety conducted in 1999 by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. The survey quantified the various types of threats and acts of violence against judges, both inside and outside the courthouse, that occurred within the previous year as the result of discharging official responsibilities. Related questions were asked about law enforcement notification, the degree of physical injuries sustained, and the extent to which such incidents led judges to alter their conduct of judicial business. The statistical data are supplemented with qualitative information from structured, in-depth interviews with a diverse set of judges. A thematic approach was taken in examining the judges' interview responses, from which emerged a series of shared conceptions regarding the causes of violence against judicial officers; the adaptations of court personnel exposed to the risk of harm; and the impediments to effective protection. Conclusions are drawn regarding the state of security in the judicial workplace along with suggestions for future research.

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