I see no way to tie the courtroom into the definition of a penal institution, as it applies to incarceration and custody. Just because a prisoner is still in custody while in a courtroom doesn't designate that courtroom as a place for custody.
It's an idiotic, overbroad definition at best, but it's the law until it isn't. If there is a holding area, that area is a penal institution. It's a kind-of rolling definition for areas. Wherever there are prisoners in custody becomes a penal institution. If there is prisoner in custody in court, the courtroom becomes a penal institution. The plain English definition of "penal institution" is (in a nutshell) "place where punishment takes place" and (this is cheesy) punishment is handed out at courthouses on a minute-by-minute basis, slight exaggeration, but courthouses meet the definition when broadly applied.
FWWIW I've considered wearing my shoulder rig, sans pistol, into the courthouse, then I remembered how they went ape because the metal detector went off because I had a 4" titanium plate attached to my right ulna. Told them to wand it, they looked puzzled. Whipped out my post op x-rays, showed the deputy (yes, I actually had to proffer evidence beyond the 5" incision and sutures in my arm, as I went in there right after I had surgery. I just leave it be. There's like five deputies all hanging around on the first floor and I live in a county of about 50k so not too much action at the courthouse.
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