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Guidance on the Safer Detention and Handling of Persons in Police Custody

NCJ Number
Date Published
197 pages
This manual identifies the standards expected in the handling of persons who come into police contact.
This guide introduces both the legal framework within which the police must operate to both address crime and provide protections and safeguards for the public. Information in this handbook has been compiled primarily to help minimize deaths and reduce the number of adverse incidents while people are in police custody. Focusing on practical issues, a definitive guide on how police forces should incorporate strategic and operational policies to help raise the standards of custodial care for those that come into contact with the police is provided. Four elements are considered: ensuring that a detainee receives the appropriate level of care to determine their fitness to be detained; determining the fitness of the detainee to be interviewed as a key element in obtaining the best quality of evidence to assist in prosecuting offenders; engaging the detainees with appropriate healthcare professionals in a timely manner and in the right environment; and providing staff with instruction and training to both recognize warning signs of violent detainees and to competently perform effective risk assessments. Identifying the risks and acting on them in the best way possible should help minimize the risk to the detainee but equally important, help to minimize risk to staff and others who come into contact with those in custody.