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Recent Posts by OTCDFCERT


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Dec 22, 2011
Male user OTCDFCERT 2 posts

Topic: Letter of The Law / jail use of force - pre trial vs sentenced

If I am reading this correctly, your jail is using the same UOF policy as the road deputies. I will address this.

The main difference between jail and road UOF incidents is timeliness. By this I mean you have to react at the appropriate time with the appropriate amount of force. The difference between the departments is that in general, time is on our side in corrections. Where a road deputy may need to take immediate action to apprehend a resistor, corrections usually has time to isolate the incident and offending party before taking action. Also, in theory, corrections should have greater access to sheilding. Because of the availability of time and sheilding, the objectively reasonable standard IS different between road and corrections.

As far as policy goes, both are similar in that we (government) have to maintain control. The need for control is higher in the jail, because we can reasonably assume that there is nothing good in jail. By this I mean that no inmate(and often times staff) want to be there. So we basically have a situation where a neutral person is as good as it gets, and it gets continually “badder” from there. Therefore we HAVE NO CHOICE but to maintain a high level of control. Road officers are dealing with the public where some good things happen and good people are. They MUST weigh the needs of society against the the rights of the individual when using force to control persons, for there is NO NEED of control over someone following rules, laws, and social moras. The courts do recognize the need for more control in a correctional setting, as long as it is reasonable and neccessary(8th amendment). A good example is restraints. A cooperative person in jail wearing restraints to court is probably not excessive force, but placing shackles and belly chains on someone appearing for court from the street probably is. UOF policy should mandate that force only be applied in a situation where control is needed and timely. The person walking in of their own free will to appear in court has no need for force(restraints) when the one from the jail does, just because of the nature of jail.

As far as a different policy for sentenced and pre-trial detainees, the standard of control remains the same with resistors and assailants. Although you may have them seperated in different areas with access to different items and programs, you would still react to resistance to control the same way. Failure to obey a lawful order is failure to obey a lawful order no matter where an inmate is housed, and CO’s have to maintain safety and security of the facility.

You may want to avoid using words like shall and must when writing your policy. Instead use may and can. Placing a prescibed response to a situation is a sure way to lose in court. This is where use of force “continuums” fail. If you dictate that an officer shall do something in response to an inmates actions, you have handcuffed your staff into doing something that may not work. If your “continuum” says that you shall respond to an active resistor with a taser or OC, then your staff are in fact violating policy if they control them with an escort hold, or with a stun, or a trip, or whatever, because it is not a taser or OC. Instead policy should say to respond with an appropriate amount of force. Thats it. Nothing fancy, just simple. By doing this, you are allowing staff to use all the tools available to them to gain control, as long as they are not unneccassary or excessive(4th amendment).

Sorry about being so windy. Good luck with writing your policy!

Dec 16, 2011
Male user OTCDFCERT 2 posts

Topic: Security Central / Inmates barricading cell doors, Ideas to combat this Read for example of cell door

I think that this is the same thing as “pennying” someone’s dorm room door shut that you are describing. This is how to get around that. If I am wrong, it will still work on some styles of cell doors.

You need to have a haligon, or a decent pry bar, to wedge between the door and jam AT THE LOCK. Pry so the door pushes IN, so you can release the pressure against the bolt. Then cycle the bolt. It takes a little practice, but you will be busting in in no time. It also doesn’t hurt to pry UP on the bottom of the door. Make sure that you have less lethal cover available for the haligon operator.

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