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Handcuffed Processing: A Critical Step Toward Jail Officer Safety

NCJ Number
American Jails Volume: 21 Issue: 2 Dated: May/June 2007 Pages: 56-58
Greg Conner
Date Published
May 2007
3 pages
This article argues for the use of “processing handcuffs” for arrested persons being processed by jail officers for the duration of processing until the arrestee has been placed in a cell, so as to improve the safety of jail officers involved in the processing.
“Processing handcuffs” are similar in design to standard handcuffs, but are distinctive in the design of the chain-link component, which has been extended by five chain links in order to allow for more flexible use of the arrestee’s hands in performing the various tasks associated with the processing of new jail admissions. The use of processing handcuffs during jail-entry processing is recommended because each year there has been an increase in the number of jail officers killed or injured during the processing phase of arrestees, reaching almost 20 percent of the overall assaults on jail officers. Arrestees are brought to the jail by arresting officers who have restrained the arrestee with traditional handcuffs. The jail receiving officer should apply processing handcuffs above the transporting handcuffs before the original handcuffs are removed and returned to the arresting officer. This article describes how the handcuffed arrestee can be positioned in order to perform the procedures involved in jail-entry processing. These tasks include photographing and fingerprinting the arrestee, initial interviewing, testing, and document completion. Once processing is completed, the arrestee is escorted to a cell while the officer escort avoids all contact with the subject’s palm or grasping side of the hand or handcuff chain. When safely secured in the cell, the handcuffs are removed through the food/service slot of the cell while the officer maintains safe control of the subject’s hands. 5 illustrative photos


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