Courtrooms are sensitive legal environments and it is necessary that all procedures be followed to ensure safety and order of all individuals. Bailiffs are highly trained law enforcement officers that monitor courtrooms and perform a variety of tasks.
What does a bailiff do?
Bailiffs observe courtrooms to ensure order and safety and they assist judges and juries. They point out the rules of the courtroom and make sure they are constantly enforced. They announce the entry of the judge and keep order during courtroom procedures. Bailiffs escort prisoners to and from court, handle evidence, swear in witnesses, keep people from entering the courtroom at inappropriate times, and make sure judges have the require files and supplies. They also make sure all courtroom occupants are safe by searching for guns, bombs, and other potential dangerous items. They are often responsible for delivering court documents protecting juries from outside contact, and providing general security. Sometimes bailiffs remove and apprehend uncooperative individuals.
What kind of training does a bailiff need?
Bailiffs must have at least a high school diploma or GED. Qualifications vary by state, but applicants usually must be at least 18 or 21 years old and complete formal training. Many community colleges and vocational and technical schools offer bailiff training programs. Some bailiffs have bachelor degree in criminal justice or other related field. Many aspiring bailiffs complete internships to gain practical experience. Prospective bailiffs also often complete self-defense training and firearms proficiency. Most employers require bailiffs to pass a thorough criminal background check, credit check, and drug test. Some also require applicants to pass a physical examination. Bailiffs often complete annual training to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with new developments in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a bailiff?
Employment of bailiffs is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 8% through 2018 (1). The growing population and increased need the maintenance and safety in courtrooms will drive job growth.
Job prospects should be favorable especially for bailiffs with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace bailiffs that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do bailiffs make?
As of 2011, bailiffs with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $28,005 and $36,029. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average annual salaries between $24,706 and $46,392 (2).
A career as a bailiff is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in ensuring the safety and order of courtroom environments. Bailiffs must have a solid understanding of criminal justice and the common practices and procedures of courtrooms. Physical stamina, patience, detail orientation, and assertiveness are necessary characteristics. Bailiffs must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to provide leadership over others. They must have good judgment and be able to think and act quickly.