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Conducted Energy Devices: Use in a Custodial Setting

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2009
36 pages
Based on a survey that determined sheriffs' office policies on the use of conducted energy devices (CEDs) in their custodial settings and the input of several committees of the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), the NSA presents a "Recommended General Order for Use of Conducted Energy Devices."
These guidelines for the use of CEDs in custodial settings provide protections designed to ensure that CEDs are used in custodial settings only by deputies who have been trained in their use. CEDs are to be used by these deputies only against subjects who make a sudden attack or offer active physical resistance. In making a decision about the use of a CED, deputies must consider the entire context of a situation, including factors such as the subject's history of violence and whether bystanders are at risk. The recommended policies also call for caution and evaluation of other options before a CED is used against elderly subjects, women believed to be pregnant, and persons with apparent physical disabilities that impair their mobility. The recommended policies also require the reporting of CED activations and prohibit using CEDs as a form of punishment. The NSA envisions that continued research into CED use, such as the U.S. Department of Justice's current study of the impact of CED use on officers and suspects, will inform the development of additional policies governing CED use. Out of the 345 sheriffs' agencies sent the survey, 288 returned completed surveys. The survey contained a series of open-ended and closed-ended questions about agency personnel and its detention centers, followed by questions on the agency's mission; the number of CED-type weapons possessed; when, where, and by whom the CED weapons are authorized to be deployed; the agency's other policies regarding CED deployment; training in CED use; and lawsuits related to CED weapons. 2 references and appended questionnaire and cover letter

Date Published: August 1, 2009