If there is a court session in progress, the bailiff is responsible for notifying the judge when everyone is ready to proceed. He will make sure the defendant is seated with counsel before the jury is summoned. He will also escort the jurors from and to the jury box. There may be a situation where the bailiff is responsible for calling the court to order.
If all you know about bailiffs is what you see on TV, you might think they just bring in the accused and stand beside the judges. As an integral part of the criminal justice system and the legal system, bailiffs play an imperative role.
What exactly is a bailiff and what are their duties?
There are bailiffs who provide security and stability to the courtrooms and those who are in them, sometimes called courtroom deputies. Different jurisdictions may have different responsibilities, but they are usually responsible for them.
- Concealing unauthorized weapons in the courtroom and ensuring people are not armed as they enter
- Announcing the judge’s entry into the courtroom
- The trial should be kept in order
- Enforcing courtroom rules and announcing them
- A prisoner’s escort to and from court
- Evidence handling
- Making sure judges have all the necessary supplies and files
A bailiff’s primary responsibility is to supervise the jury. To ensure integrity and discretion within a trial, a bailiff must supervise jurors, their movements, and their communication patterns. If a jury is sequestered in a hotel, the bailiff is responsible for securing the hotel. In restaurants and other places, they accompany jurors while ensuring that they don’t make contact with anyone else. During jury deliberation, a bailiff may be responsible for maintaining a safe juror environment, as well as performing certain transactional duties once a sentence has been agreed upon.
How To Become A bailiff
Discover what your jurisdiction’s barebones requirements are before pursuing a career as a bailiff. In the United States, there are some basic prerequisites that need to be met, such as.
- The applicant must be 21 years of age (18 years of age in certain jurisdictions or positions)
- A high school diploma or GED is required
- An examination of your background is required
- A drug test must be passed
- The candidate must pass the required physical standards and tests
Many states require bailiffs to receive their law enforcement certification. This certification is generally given to those who graduate from a state-licensed police academy. However, certain states do not require bailiff candidates to attend a police academy.
Make sure you research your jurisdiction’s requirements and confirm whether or not you need to attend a police academy or earn any additional certifications in order to be eligible for the position. The specific requirements of your local sheriff’s department can, in most cases, be found on their website.
Take into account the possibility of earning a higher education
Earning a degree can benefit many candidates regardless of whether or not their area of expertise requires one. If you have a degree in a related field, such as criminal justice, you could be more attractive to employers in law enforcement and earn more money. Often, law enforcement agents and future bailiffs seek out students in fields like political science.
Gain experience in the field and complete the required field training
Field training for potential bailiffs is required by some state and court systems in order to serve as bailiffs. Usually, the law enforcement agency that is responsible for placing bailiffs will be able to provide you with detailed information about the specifics (including the length of any potential field training). There is usually a clear note on the website or in a job listing stating how many training hours are required for each position.