I also provide a critical reflection upon my experience in court outlining the relevant concepts discussed in Courts and Criminal Law.
On the entrance of court the guards asked me to empty out my pockets, open my jacket and then pass through the metal detectors. As I walked around the court building, I also observed that there were guards for safety measures at every exit door and they made sure no one entered; only exited. There were also Police Officers in most of the courtrooms I looked into. In my opinion, security measures were very good at this location and I felt very safe.
The building itself was ordinary, nothing to fancy. The outside of it looked like any other building in San Diego and it was hard to tell what the building was without knowing. The inside was the same, very ordinary. The staff was very helpful. When I first walked into the building, I walked over to the receptionists desk, which was surrounded by bulletproof glass, and told her who I was and why I was there. She then told me that I was welcome to sit in on any of the hearings going on that morning as long as it was all right with the judge/referee. She also told me that there were courtrooms on the first three floors. I decided to go to the third floor because the first two were crowded. As I was walking through the hall, I was looking into the different courtrooms to see if anything was going on.
Finally I looked into one of the last courtrooms and saw someone I recognized, not a student, but the judge. I couldnt remember where I knew him from, but I recognized him from somewhere. I walked in and told him who I was and asked if he would mind if I sat in on the hearings he had today. He told me that he had no problem with it and that there would be a pre-trial today. He introduced himself to me and began to tell me some things about his background.
Inside the courtroom, the lighting was adequate and for the two pre trials I observed, the seating was adequate