Yesterday, the handcuff topic led to some new questions. Beth asked, “How do you safely remove the handcuffs?”
My answer to her was, “Officers have the suspect step inside a holding cell and then close and lock the door behind them. The prisoner then places his cuffed hands through or close to an opening in the cell door. This allows officers to safely unlock the cuffs. That opening in the cell door is also used to pass prisoners their food trays.
When officers bring a suspect to an interview room they’ll normally leave the cuffs on their prisoner. If officers are removing cuffs from a prisoner outside a cell they’ll apply a wrist lock technique for control before unlocking the restraints. Two or more officers should be present anytime they’re removing cuffs in an unsecure area.
The picture above is of a typical holding cell. The platform to the right is the bed. In the rear of the cell is a stainless steel toilet/sink combination. A polished steel mirror hangs above the sink. The heavily scratched and dented mirror is held to the wall with bolts that can’t be backed out without a special tool. The thick steel door is equipped with a tray slot and peep hole. You can also see a round piece of stainless steel on the upper door. This is actually a receiver for a computerized device called “The Pipe.”
Jail officers carry the pipe with them as they make their rounds, touching the end of the apparatus to each receiver throughout the jail or prison. The receiver uploads the time and date into the pipe. At the end of the officer’s shift he/she inserts the pipe into a terminal inside the jail’s master control room. The computer then records every movement the officer made during the day. There are also many, many security cameras throughout the institutions. Talk about electronic micro-managing.
* Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Patry Francis’s book THE LIAR”S DIARY. Patry has been dignosed with an aggressive form of cancer and is unable to promote the book. Visit her website at www.patryfrancis.com for more information.