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Procedure Properties

Title: Use of Force
Category: Custodial Operations - Standard Operating Procedures
Version: 01
Implement Date: 06 June 2013
Application: Custodial Operations
Availability: Public

Authority

Appendices and Forms

  • Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (in-confidence)
  • Retention and Disposal Schedule
  • Weapons and Munitions Schedule (in-confidence)
  • Restraints Schedule
  • Situational Response to Force Model
  • Use of Force Example Proclamation
  • Consider All Options and Practice Safety Threat Assessment
  • Weapons / Safety and Security Equipment Suppliers
  • Use of Handcuffs (in-confidence)

Operational Instructions

  • Operational Instruction - Use of Safety (spit) Hoods
  • Operational Instruction - Chemical Agents

Associated Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedures

Local Procedures

QCSA Training Manual

Intra-Agency Procedures

Policies

Review Date:

Ownership: Statewide Operations

Custodial Operations Standard Operating Procedure - Use of Force


Performance Standard
Authority
1.Procedure Requirements
1.1Custodial correctional officer accreditation
2.Definitions
3.Use of Force Options
4.Reasonable Force
4.1Authority to Use Reasonable Force
4.2Use of reasonable force
5.Use of Restraints
5.1Use of handcuffs
5.2Use of body belts and leg irons
5.3Use of safety (spit) hoods
5.4Monitoring restrained prisoners ­- positional asphyxia
6.Use of Chemical Agents
7.Use of Batons
8.Unlawful Assembly / Riot / Mutiny
8.1Warning and order to a group of prisoners
8.2Water under high pressure
9.Lethal Force
9.1Use of lethal force
9.2Requirements for use of lethal force
10.Reporting the Use of Force
10.1Reasonable force
10.2Lethal force
10.3IOMS reporting of use of force incidents
11.Operational Debrief
11.1Review of use of force

Performance Standard

Only the necessary amount of force justified by law is used to effect a lawful purpose.

This must be in accordance with -

Safety & Security - Our Principles

Refer - Safety and Security - Our Principles (in-confidence)

Authority

Corrective Services Act 2006, ss. 122, 143-148, 263, 265, 308

Criminal Code Act (Qld) 1899

1. Procedure Requirements

Refer Corrective Services Act 2006, (CSA) ss. 143-148.

A corrective services officer must utilise all methods of tactical communications and situational response and consider the most appropriate option for a safe and effective outcome to ensure only a reasonable amount of force justified by law is used to effect a lawful purpose.

The general manager of a corrective services facility must provide for the training and accreditation of relevant corrective services officers to use force and the administration and control of the use of weapons and other security devices.

Refer procedure - Accreditation, Registration and Qualifications and

Correctional Practices Competency Assessment Schedule for Control and Restraint

When an event involving the use of reasonable or lethal force has been brought under control, all relevant involved persons are to be medically examined as soon as practicable.

Refer standard operating procedure - Emergency Incident - Planning and Responding

1.1 Custodial correctional officer accreditation

Custodial correctional officers must be trained and competent, and maintain accreditation in -

  1. situational response to force, including -

    1. legislative considerations for use of force
    2. situational response to force model
    3. situational response to force scenarios; and

  2. control and restraint , including -

    1. control and restraint theory
    2. positional asphyxia and excited delirium.
    3. control and restraint practical assessments; and

A general manager of a corrective services facility or nominee will determine custodial correctional officers that must be trained and competent, and maintain accreditation in -

  1. firearms, including -

    1. firearms safety and awareness theory assessment
    2. TOET's
    3. range practice and assessments; and/or

  2. chemical agents, including -

    1. basic awareness (exposure to chemical agents)
    2. trained and competent as operators in the delivery of chemical agents.

Refer - MTP001 Situational Response to Force & Scenario Based Training Student Manual; MTP112B Operator Positional Asphyxia & Excited Delirium; MTP112 Operator Control & Restraint; MTP102 Operator Firearms and MTP103 Operator Chemical Agents

2. Definitions

'Assault' - refer Criminal Code Act (Qld), s. 245

'Applies force' - refer Criminal Code Act (Qld), s. 245

'Bodily Harm' - refer Criminal Code Act (Qld), s. 1

'General manager' means - a general manager of a corrective services facility, General Manager, Escort and Security Branch and Director, Queensland Corrective Services Academy (QCSA).

'General manager's nominee' means -

  1. deputy general manager;
  2. correctional manager; and
  3. correctional supervisor.

'Grievous bodily harm' - refer Criminal Code Act (Qld), s. 1

'Instructor' - corrective services officer who has been certified as a Chemical Agents Instructor, Control and Restraint Instructor, Firearms Instructor by an Instructor Trainer, refer procedure - Accreditation Accreditation, Registration and Qualifications.and appendix - Approved Standards for Correctional Practices Competency Assessment Topics.

'Instructor trainer' - corrective services officer with current certification from QCS as a Chemical Agents Instructor Trainer, Firearms Instructor Trainer, Control and Restraint Instructor Trainer or other equivalent or superior certification approved by QCS, refer procedure - Accreditation, Registration and Qualifications and appendix - Approved Standards for Correctional Practices Competency Assessment Topics.

'Lethal force' - refer Corrective Services Act 2006, Schedule 4

'Mutiny' - refer Corrective Services Act 2006, s. 122

'Operator' - corrective services officer who has been certified to use chemical agents, firearms or control and restraint by an Instructor, refer procedure - Accreditation, Registration and Qualifications and appendix - Approved Standards for Correctional Practices Competency Assessment Topics.

'Riot' - refer Corrective Services Act 2006, s. 122

'Self defence' - refer Criminal Code Act (Qld) 1899, ss. 271-273

Self-defence is a broader issue than the use of force described in this standard operating procedure. However, it should be noted that a person is not held to be criminally responsible for using reasonable force necessary for the prevention to himself/herself of death or grievous bodily harm. This does not extend to a person who initiated an assault with intent to kill or commit grievous bodily harm on another person. In addition, it is lawful for a person acting in good faith to use reasonable force to defend another person against death or grievous bodily harm.

'Unlawful assembly' - refer Corrective Services Act 2006, s. 122

3. Use of Force Options

The requirement that corrective services officers use a reasonable amount of force appropriate for the performance of their duties involves consideration of a number of factors, including the level of resistance displayed by the subject and the threat to the officer, other prisoners, corrective services facility environs or community safety. Underpinning the selection of the appropriate level of force is a situational response to force model that outlines the full range of tactical options. This model displays the tactical options available to officers and assists in the selection of the most appropriate option to achieve a safe and effective response to a variety of situations.

Refer appendix - Situational Response to Force Model

The situational response to force model conceptualises the range of tactical options in a circular format in which the tactical options are randomly arranged. It is integrated and holistic in that it does not emphasise one option over another, thereby encouraging officers to consider all options throughout the duration of the incident. This highlights the need for officers to continually assess and reassess the situation to ensure the safety of staff, other prisoners and members of the public by using clear communication and a thorough understanding of their tactical options and underpinning legislation.

The Agency has also adopted the philosophy of Consider all Options and Practice Safety (COPS). For an effective outcome, officers should embrace this philosophy when dealing with incidents which may require the use of force.

Refer appendix - Consider All Options and Practice Safety Threat Assessment

There is a danger of causing injury or death to a person by the application of some use of force options. Therefore, officers should exercise due care at all times when using any of these options.

4. Reasonable Force

4.1 Authority to Use Reasonable Force

A corrective services officer may use reasonable force in accordance with CSA s. 143. The use of reasonable force may involve the use of weapons in accordance with CSA s. 143(4).

In accordance with CSA s. 308(4)(a), in assisting a proper officer of the court, a corrective services officer may use force authorised under CSA ss. 143-148. A proper officer of a court includes -

  1. the Sheriff for the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal;
  2. the person performing the duties of the Sheriff at the place where the Supreme Court is sitting somewhere else;
  3. the Sheriff or Registrar of the court for the District Court; or
  4. the clerk of the court at the place where the court is sitting for a court constituted by a magistrate or justice of the peace.

Refer standard operating procedures - Safety and Security Equipment Management; Escort of Prisoners (in-confidence); Weapons and Ammunition Management (in-confidence); and appendices - Weapons and Munitions Schedule (in-confidence); Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (in-confidence)

4.2 Use of reasonable force

Reasonable force may be used to -

  1. compel compliance with an order given or applying to a prisoner;
  2. restrain a prisoner who is attempting or preparing to commit an offence or a breach of discipline;
  3. restrain a prisoner who is committing an offence or a breach of discipline;
  4. compel any person who has been lawfully ordered to leave a corrective services facility, and who refuses to do so, to leave the facility;
  5. restrain a prisoner who is harming himself/herself or attempting or preparing to harm himself/herself; or
  6. any other situation which may reasonably warrant the use of reasonable force.

Refer - Situational Response to Force & Scenario Based Training Student Manual

5. Use of Restraints

Corrective services officers must only use restraints approved by the Agency, refer appendix Restraints Schedule.

Those corrective services officers approved to carry restraints, or who are assigned restraints as part of their necessary duty equipment, are authorized to use them in accordance with CSA s. 143 and Correctional Practices Competency Assessment Schedule for Control and Restraint.

The corrective service officers must exercise care to avoid injury to the prisoner being restrained.

5.1 Use of handcuffs

For any planned use of handcuffs, two officers must be present at all times. Prisoners are to be handcuffed to the front unless the prisoner is likely to become non-compliant or self harm. In these instances, a prisoner may be handcuffed to the rear. When a prisoner is handcuffed to the rear, they must be supported at all times.

Refer appendix - Use of Handcuffs (in-confidence)

5.2 Use of body belts and leg irons

Whenever a body belt and leg irons are to be applied or removed, a minimum of three officers must be present. The prisoner is to be supported throughout the application and removal process and whenever the prisoner is moved. This will minimise the possibility of the prisoner falling.

When applying or removing leg irons, where practical, the prisoner is to be placed either -

  1. in the kneeling position;
  2. in a seated position with legs fully extended and raised on to a chair (eg. wheelchair and legs on a chair); or
  3. lying/sitting up in a bed with legs fully extended.

5.3 Use of safety (spit) hoods

Safety (spit) hoods are designed to reduce the risk of spreading pathogens by placing a breathable cover over a prisoners face to prevent a prisoner from spitting at another person.

For the Agency approved safety (spit) hood, refer appendices Restraints Schedule and Weapons / Safety and Security Equipment Suppliers. Only the approved safety (spit) hood may be used.

Refer appendix - Operational Instruction - Use of Safety (spit) Hoods and Tactical Options Operator Safety Hood Application

5.4 Monitoring restrained prisoners ­- positional asphyxia

Positional asphyxia can occur when a person's body position interferes with their respiration. This may occur in circumstances where a person is rigorously restrained. In situations of positional asphyxia the person will generally become inactive after several minutes, exhibit respiratory difficulties and subsequently stop breathing.

The following factors increase the risk of a person experiencing positional asphyxia -

  1. drug or alcohol intoxication;
  2. excited delirium in conjunction with certain restraints;
  3. violent muscular activity;
  4. high stress situations;
  5. obesity;
  6. high humidity and/or high temperature;
  7. involvement of multiple staff; and
  8. the placing of restrained persons in a face down position with pressure applied.

Refer - Tactical Options Dealing with Positional Asphyxia & Excited Delirium and appendices - Use of Handcuffs (in-confidence) and Operational Instruction - Use of Safety (Spit) Hoods

6. Use of Chemical Agents

Refer standard operating procedure - Weapons and Ammunition Management (in-confidence) and appendix - Operational Instruction - Chemical Agents.

7. Use of Batons

Corrective services officers must only use batons approved by the Agency.

Refer appendix - Weapons and Munitions Schedule (in-confidence).

Riot batons or similar weapons are approved for use only by corrective services officers who are trained and competent in the use of the equipment and may be used in accordance with CSA s. 143.

The use of batons must be authorised by the general manager of the facility or in an emergency by the general manager's nominee. Those corrective services officers approved to carry batons or who are assigned batons as part of their necessary duty equipment are authorised to use them in accordance with CSA s. 143.

Care must be exercised to avoid damage to the head, neck and unprotected organs of the prisoner being subdued.

8. Unlawful Assembly / Riot / Mutiny

8.1 Warning and order to a group of prisoners

Refer standard operating procedure - Emergency Incident - Planning and Responding

Where a corrective services officer believes on reasonable grounds that an assembly of prisoners is unlawful within the meaning of CSA s. 122, that officer must, where practical, verbally warn the prisoners that their actions constitute: unlawful assembly; or riot; or mutiny, and order that they stop such behaviour immediately.

The warning and order must provide prisoners the opportunity to stop their behaviour or disassociate themselves from such behaviour. The warning and order must be given in a clear and audible manner within reasonable hearing distance of the prisoners and (if readily accessible) using amplified equipment.

Subsequent behaviour of the prisoners after the warning and order is given, must, where such devices form part of the infrastructure and security systems of a corrective services facility, be recorded by means of sound, visual or audio visual recording equipment, and such recordings made under this standard operating procedure must be retained in accordance with standard operating procedure - Storage and Disposal of Audio and Video Recordings Used for Monitoring Purposes and appendix - Retention and Disposal Schedule.

The warning must provide clear information to the prisoners regarding their position in relation to CSA s. 143, that is, they are participating in -

  1. an unlawful assembly; or
  2. a riot; or
  3. a mutiny.

The order that prisoners stop their behaviour immediately must -

  1. be reasonable and able to be obeyed;
  2. provide clear time frames;
  3. provide clear instructions for those who did not intend on being part of unlawful behaviour;
  4. provide clear instructions for those not wanting to participate any further in unlawful behaviour; and
  5. provide clear intent of the consequences of failure/refusal to obey the order including but not limited to -

    1. that force will be used to provide compliance with the order; and

ii.such force may include use of riot control equipment including but not limited to the use of restraints, water under high pressure, chemical agents, baton, shield, and/or corrective services dogs.

8.2 Water under high pressure

High pressure water hoses may be used by corrective services officers to subdue prisoners to prevent or stop any disturbance in which there exists a threat of bodily harm, escape or property damage. The use of water under high pressure can only be authorised by the general manager of the corrective services facility or in an emergency by the general manager's nominee. Refer CSA ss 143(4)(c) and 263.

Water under pressure must never be aimed at a prisoner's face.

9. Lethal Force

9.1 Use of lethal force

A trained, competent and authorised officer may use lethal force, involving weapons, that is reasonably necessary -

  1. to stop a prisoner from escaping or attempting to escape from secure custody, if the officer reasonably believes the prisoner is likely to cause grievous bodily harm to, or the death of, someone other than the prisoner in the escape or attempted escape;
  2. to stop a person from helping, or attempting to help, a prisoner to escape from secure custody, if the officer reasonably believes the person is likely to cause grievous bodily harm to, or the death of, someone other than the person or prisoner while helping or attempting to help the prisoner escape;
  3. to stop a prisoner from assaulting or attempting to assault another person, if the officer reasonably believes the prisoner is likely to cause grievous bodily harm to, or the death of, the other person; and
  4. in an immediate response to a prisoner who has escaped from secure custody, if the officer reasonably believes the prisoner is likely to cause grievous bodily harm to, or the death of, someone other than the prisoner in the course of the immediate response.

Refer CSA s. 146(1)

Lethal force must not be used if there is a foreseeable risk that the use of lethal force will cause grievous bodily harm to, or the death of, someone other than the person against whom the lethal force may be directed.

Refer CSA s. 146(2)

The use of lethal force may involve, but is not limited to, the use of -

  1. weapons, including firearms; or
  2. a corrective services dog under the control of a corrective services officer.

Refer CSA s. 146(3)

9.2 Requirements for use of lethal force

A corrective services officer trained and competent in the use of lethal force may use lethal force if the officer -

  1. reasonably believes the act or omission permitting the use of lethal force can not be stopped in any other way;
  2. gives a clear warning of the intention to use lethal force if the act or omission does not stop;
  3. gives sufficient time for the warning to be observed; and
  4. attempts to use the force in a way that causes the least injury to any person.

The corrective services officer need not comply with b), c) or d) if doing so would create a risk of injury to the officer or someone other than the person against whom the lethal force is directed.

Refer CSA s. 147

10. Reporting the Use of Force

10.1 Reasonable force

When a corrective services officer has considered it reasonable to apply physical or chemical force to a prisoner or other person in compliance with the `CSA ss143-148, the officer must, as soon as practicable notify the general manager of the facility and before proceeding off duty provide a written report to the general manager detailing the nature of the force used and the reasons for the use of such force.

The general manager of a facility must report the event in accordance with standard operating procedure - Incident Reporting.

10.2 Lethal force

The general manager of a facility must notify the Deputy Commissioner, Statewide Operations immediately, in accordance with standard operating procedure - Incident Reporting of the -

  1. use of lethal force by a corrective services officer; and
  2. discharge of a firearm, other than for training

Refer CSA s. 148

Where a firearm has been discharged, other than for training purposes, the relevant supervisor must immediately take control of and secure the firearm for inspection at a later date by the investigating officer, refer standard operating procedure - Preservation of a Crime Scene and Evidence.

The officer who had control of the firearm must submit a written report to the general manager of facility prior to ceasing duty. The officer who had control of the firearm must also be managed in accordance with procedure - Managing Traumatic Events at Work

10.3 IOMS reporting of use of force incidents

Where an incident involves the use of force by a corrective services officer, this must be recorded in the IOMS incident report. This involves selecting the 'Use of Force' check box that will then open a 'Use of Force' tab page. If the incident was resolved by negotiation or communication the 'Yes' check box may be endorsed and no further information in the 'Use of Force' tab page is required. If 'No' is selected, all reference data in the open fields must be completed.

A use of force register will be electronically recorded on IOMS by the completion of the 'Use of Force' tab page and the incident report. A corrective services facility may obtain this data by selecting Location>>>>File - Contents>>>>Breaches - and Contraventions>>>>Incidents>>>>Select 'Use of Force Only' check box>>>>Search. This will provide a list of all use of force incidents for a facility.

Refer standard operating procedure - Incident Reporting.

11. Operational Debrief

Refer standard operating procedure - Emergency Incident - Planning and Responding and Operational Instruction - Incident Debriefing and procedure Managing Traumatic Events at Work.

11.1 Review of use of force

A process to evaluate a range of factors that led to, during and post the incident will be undertaken, including -

  1. prisoner/s profile, behaviour and associated factors leading up to the application of force;
  2. unit profile and environmental factors;
  3. application of force was appropriate to the situation - use of force justified (therefore meeting performance standards) or unjustified;
  4. staff involved in the use of force trained, competent and accredited; and
  5. action during and post the use of force incident complies with Agency procedures.

Learnings and recommendations from the debrief will be actioned where relevant

MARK RALLINGS

Acting Deputy Commissioner, Statewide Operations

Approved by:





MARLENE MORISON
Commissioner





Version History

06/06/2013 Version 01