Public Correctional Policy on:
Capital PunishmentClassificationCommunity CorrectionsConditions of Confinement Correctional Industry
Female Offender ServicesHigher EducationManagement of Legal Issues and LitigationUse of Force
Policy on ProbationPrivate Sector Involvement in CorrectionsPurpose of CorrectionSentencing Policy
Religious Faith and PracticePolicy on ProbationCorrectional Staff Recruitment and Development
Correctional Standards and AccreditationAppropriate Sanctions and Controls

Public Correctional

Correctional agencies administer sanctions and punishments imposed by courts for unlawful behavior. Assigned to correctional agencies involuntarily, offenders sometimes resist authority imposed on them, and may demonstrate violent and destructive behaviors. Use of illegally authorized force by correctional authorities may become necessary to maintain custody, safety, and control.

Policy Statement:

Use of force consists of physical contact with an offender in a confrontational situation to control behavior and enforce order. Use of force includes use of restraints (other than for routine transportation and movement), chemical agents, and weapons. Force is justified only when required to maintain or regain control, or when there is imminent danger of personal injury or serious damage to property. To assure the use of force is appropriate and justifiable, correctional agencies should:


A. Establish and maintain policies that require reasonable steps be taken to reduce or prevent the necessity for the use of force, that authorize force only when no reasonable alternative is possible, that permit only the minimum force necessary, and that prohibit the use of force as a retaliatory or disciplinary measure;

B. Establish and enforce procedures that define the range of methods for and alternatives to the use of force, and that specify the conditions under which each is permitted. The procedures must assign responsibility for authorizing such force, assure appropriate documentation and supervision of the action;

C. Establish and maintain procedures that limit the use of deadly force to those instances where it is legally authorized and where there is an imminent threat to human life or a threat to public safety that cannot reasonably be prevented by other means;

D. Maintain operating procedures and regular staff training designed to anticipate, stabilize and defuse situations that might give rise to conflict, confrontation, and violence;

E. Provide specialized training to ensure competency in all methods of use of force, especially in methods and equipment requiring special knowledge and skills such as defensive tactics, weapons, restraints, and chemical agents; and

F. Establish and maintain procedures that require all incidents involving the use of force be fully documented and independently reviewed by a higher correctional authority. A report of the use of force, including appropriate investigation and any recommendations for preventive and remedial action, shall be submitted for administrative review and implementation of recommendations when appropriate.

Last Updated: 02/03/2010 10:36 PM
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