Court Bailiff Role Overview

Court Bailiff: Role Overview




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Court Bailiff: Role Overview

Court Bailiff: Role Overview

The criminal justice field is one that offers very exciting career opportunities. With the new achievements in forensic technology as well as the ever evolving international and domestic criminal justice landscape, you are almost guaranteed that the criminal justice professions will be anything but boring. The list of criminal justice professions is ever expanding and it welcomes individuals with a diverse educational as well as professional backgrounds. One such career in the criminal justice system would be a court Bailiff.

A court Bailiff is an officer of a court that provides security services within the courtroom. According to Law (2015), a bailiff is an officer of the court who is concerned with the service of a court’s process, and the enforcement of the court’s orders. They are mandated with the monitoring of courts for any security threats such as weapons and explosives. They frisk the people who attend court sessions to make sure that they don’t carry anything that is forbidden in a court room.

When the judge enters the courtroom, it is the responsibility of the bailiffs to introduce them. In addition, they are mandated to maintain order during the court proceedings. When judges are speaking to juries, bailiffs are supposed to prevent any other individuals from entering the courtroom. When court proceedings are on, bailiffs instruct those who are in attendance on the court procedures and enforcing them if necessary. For example, court bailiffs may instruct juries not to smoke, speak, or eat when court is on session. When necessary, they also kick out individuals who break the rules and they restrain angry people who might disagree with judge’s rulings.

When Trials are extended beyond one day as it happens occasionally, the jurors are mostly required by the judges to remain sequestered in hotels. In such cases, it is the bailiff’s responsibility to protect the jurors that are staying in the hotels, as well as accompanying them to restaurants to make sure they do not reveal the trial details with others. Additionally, bailiffs also escort incarcerated people in and out of the courtroom, handle evidence, administer oaths to witnesses, and make sure that judges have access to the files of the particular case.

Bailiffs also work and associate closely with the court employees, various legal professionals, and government employees. Although bailiffs are responsible primarily for providing the courtroom with security, some of them are assigned other administrative duties, such as serving asset seizure and civil lawsuit notices, garnishments, and any other court order, making sure that courtrooms remain adequately supplied with whatever that might be needed, and developing and posting case schedules. Other duties within the scope of a bailiff’s job description may include opening the courtrooms and alerting the judge when it is ready, help jurors sit where they are supposed to sit, and handing them the questionnaires, notifying witnesses when they are supposed to enter the stand, administer oaths, Notifying the attorneys and court officials when juries have come up with verdicts, relaying messages to families and court officials from jurors, collecting evidence from the jury members, operating technology within the courtroom, among other duties.

A bailiff is in most cases a local sheriff’s department member, but may sometimes be an employee of the court (Gaines & Miller, 2015). This is a career that is very interesting and it plays a very critical role in the courtrooms, and in the criminal justice system altogether.


Gaines, L., & Miller, R. (2015). Criminal justice in action: The core. Boston: Cengage Learning. Law, J. (2015). A dictionary of law (Eighth ed.). Oxford: Oxford University press.

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