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Managing Use of Force in Prisons: The Need for Better Policy and Practice

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2012
36 pages
This report from the New South Wales Ombudsman discusses the need for improved policy and practice in managing the use of force in prisons.
This report presents the findings of an evaluation by the New South Wales (NSW) Ombudsman on the policies and practices in place for managing use of force in NSW prisons. Two investigations were conducted by the NSW Ombudsman office into how the Corrective Services of NSW monitors and scrutinizes uses of force in the Territory's prisons. The first investigation examined policies and procedures, reviewed training, interviewed department staff, and audited a sample of use of force reports, while the second investigation looked into a specific individual use of force matter resulting from a complaint filed by an inmate. This report presents the findings from these two investigations along with a set of 17 recommendations for implementing widespread change in the system. The report also includes discussions on the legislative and policy framework for using force on inmates, problems with how uses of force are managed, the current situation in NSW prisons, and what has been done so far and what is yet to be done. A detailed summary of the 17 recommendations is also included in the report. Some of these recommendations include policy and procedure review, improved training in use of force, use of data collection and analysis, and the use of closed circuit television in NSW facilities. Appendix