Courthouses must be fully accessible, seismically safe, and designed, where appropriate, with a system of secure elevators and corridors for the transportation of in-custody defendants.
The Trial Court Facilities Act of 2002 initiated the process for the transfer and management of California's court facilities from the counties to the state. This transfer process was completed at the end of 2009.
Within that decade, trial court and county leaders collaborated with the Judicial Council to develop a 20-year facility master plan for each Superior Court. The master plan and subsequent five-year infrastructure plans, updated annually, identify and prioritize the need for repair, replacement, and expansion of court facilities.
Working in partnership with the Legislature and the Governor, the judicial branch has made a major commitment to funding new construction and renovations that will improve access to justice throughout California. The funding comes from court users statewide, without impact on the state's General Fund.
The AOC's Office of Court Construction and Management has undertaken one of the largest public building programs, totaling more than 50 courthouse projects at over $6.5 billion, as well as repairs and renovations to improve conditions in the hundreds of court facilities that have transferred to judicial branch responsibility.
Even so, the need remains great. The most recent five-year infrastructure plan identified another 100 capital projects which remain unfunded, and the AOC's assessment of courthouses not slated for replacement or major renovations highlights a legacy of neglect in these buildings. Over $600 million in unfunded facility repair projects has been identified, and this figure is expected to grow to over $1 billion once these assessments are completed.
For more information, click on The Office of Court Construction and Management site.