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NCJ Number: 213326 Find in a Library
Title: Use of Force: The Correlation Between Law Enforcement and Clinical Care
Journal: Corrections Today Magazine  Volume:68  Issue:1  Dated:February 2006  Pages:34-36
Author(s): Mark Ellsworth
Date Published: February 2006
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article draws parallels between the policies and practices of law enforcement officers and medical personnel in managing out-of-control inmates.
Abstract: Both law enforcement officers and medical personnel are charged with managing people who threaten others or themselves with harm; and both professions operate under policies and ethical principles that require minimizing harm to others and respecting life. When officers are faced with a situation that requires force to subdue a violent inmate, a continuum of force options should come into play. The continuum includes verbal commands, the use of hands, chemical agents, the use of a baton or other impact weapon, a canine, less-than-lethal projectiles, and deadly force as the last option. The force option used should be proportionate to what is required to control the inmate. Further, it should only be applied at the level and duration necessary to gain physical control of and restrain the inmate. When medical personnel must control a resisting inmate who requires medical intervention, a continuum of restrictive measures is also involved. When a health care provider is dealing with a patient who threatens harm to himself/herself or another person, the clinician should begin with minimal interventions such as distraction techniques, change in environment, safety contracts, and medications. It would not be appropriate to begin intervention with four-point restraints for an inmate who has suicidal thoughts. When force or restrictive measures are used in either law enforcement or health care, administrative reviews should be promptly conducted to determine whether appropriate procedures were followed.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Lawful use of force; Medical and dental services; Police use of deadly force; Professional conduct and ethics
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