How to deter inmate misbehavior during transport or court
Keeping potentially dangerous prisoners safely under physical control during transport or court appearances is a major challenge for corrections officers – but it can be done reliably with the right electronically-controlled device.
Sponsored by Stun-Cuff
By James Careless for Corrections1 BrandFocus
Dealing with a violent inmate can be the worst part of a corrections officer’s job. It is hard enough to keep such people from seriously injuring others in a controlled institutional setting. It is doubly difficult to control violent prisoners during transport, where many are desperately seeking opportunities to escape.
Things can be even worse in the courtroom, because a prisoner has to look “innocent” to get a fair trial. Sitting there in handcuffs and chains tends to detract from that impression; even though an unrestrained violent prisoner can cause deadly mayhem if they get upset. (This is why many of them are in court, in the first place.)
It is for situations like these that Brad Myers invented the Stun-Cuff in 2004.
Now president of Myers Enterprises (which manufactures the Stun-Cuff), Brad Myers thought some form of wireless-activated, high-voltage battery-powered restraint cuff would allow officers to deter smart prisoners from attempting to escape custody. (The Stun-Cuff is worn either on the wrist or ankle.) It would also safely disable violent offenders attempting to escape without putting officers, the public, or anyone else at risk.
The Stun-Cuff checks off all these boxes. “When an officer holding a Stun-Cuff handheld transmitter hits the button, 50,000 volts is delivered directly into the prisoner’s body,” said Myers. “This jolt is painful and immobilizing; yet because it is low-amperage, the Stun-Cuff’s voltage will not cause them serious or permanent physical harm.”
Since the Stun-Cuff is worn with multiple electric contacts touching the prisoner’s skin, it is extremely reliable. But it is also discreet – a prisoner can wear a Stun-Cuff in court under street clothes without anyone seeing it. And since the Stun-Cuff has a range of up to 100 yards between the electronic cuff and the transmitter, the prisoner cannot run far enough away to escape the Stun-Cuff’s restraining jolt.
“Again, the thing that’s nice is once the Stun-Cuff’s 5-second jolt stops, the prisoner can stand up and they're not hurt,” Myers said. “They can think, they could say the ABCs and everything like that, because it just affects the limb that it's on. The shock doesn't go clear up through the chest and the heart.”
Yes, the Stun-Cuff is scary to behold; which makes it an effective deterrent in 99% of all situations. “Before putting it on a prisoner, you hold it right in front of them and you fire it,” said Myers. “It's loud, it smells and it generates ozone. You know you don't want it to fire on you!”
control INMATES WITH The versatile Stun-Cuff
With its ability to remotely disable violent inmates, the Stun-Cuff is an ideal tool for all prisoner transport situations. It is even compliant with FAA regulations (which the 60% reliable* TASER isn’t), making it usable when transporting prisoners by air. (According to the TSA, TASERS are only allowed to be carried in checked luggage; not in the cabin.)
This versatility is why the Stun-Cuff is being used by correctional facilities in America, and around the world. “Take the state of Michigan: They've got it in all 29 facilities and they've got multiple Stun-Cuffs in each one,” Myers said. “They use it when they're transporting men from one facility to another facility to a trial. It keeps them from getting worked up and they behave when they have it on.”
Because each Stun-Cuff has its own unique communications address, one officer can control many prisoners wearing Stun-Cuffs. “This is why it’s used a lot for managing prison work crews,” said Myers. “You have a group of nine guys in a work crew? One officer can control all nine cuffs using just one transmitter.”
This level of control doesn’t just deter inmates from escaping: It gives supervising officers the ability to stop one or more inmates from attacking the others.
Accountability built in
Every good tool has the potential for misuse, and the Stun-Cuff is no exception.
According to the Associated Press, “A Maryland judge was removed from the bench last year for ordering a deputy to activate a Stun-Cuff on a defendant who would not stop talking after the judge ordered him to stop... The judge was found guilty of a misdemeanor civil-rights violation. He was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and take an anger-management class.”
This judge’s abuse of power was captured on video by a TV news crew. But even if it hadn’t been, the Stun-Cuff’s onboard data recorder automatically preserved evidence of this unethical usage. Better yet, this data is easily available via each Stun-Cuff’s DataPort, which can be accessed wirelessly using an authorized computer.
“Law enforcement can pull that record up on the computer and it gives the date, time and duration of every firing on that device,” said Myers. “If a suspect says, ‘it was fired on me for 15 seconds,’ they can pull it up and they can say, ‘It wasn't fired at all’, or, ‘Yes, it was’. Either way, this can be used in court.”
“Some people worry that the Stun-Cuff can be abused. Well, I’ve designed it so that it can’t.”
ensure Safety for all
The Stun-Cuff is a form of electronic restraint that maximizes safety for corrections officers, the public, and even the inmates who wear Stun-Cuffs. This device’s ability to quickly and consistently immobilize violent prisoners from a distance – without causing serious physical harm -- makes it a standout in law enforcement.
“How safe is the Stun-Cuff? In 15 years of doing business, I’ve never been faced with a lawsuit,” Myers said. “Not one lawsuit. I've never even heard a whisper.”
With performance, safety, and reliability like this, the Stun-Cuff is a necessary addition to any correctional facility’s deterrence arsenal. Your inmates won’t thank you for choosing the Stun-Cuff, but by using this device so you’ll be doing them, your officers, and the public a big favor.
About the Author
James Careless is a freelance writer with extensive experience covering law enforcement topics.
* American Public Media: When TASERS Fail