Title: Use of Force
Category: Safety and Security
Implement Date: 1 December 2009
Application: Custodial Operations
Appendices and Forms
Ownership: Custodial Operations
|4.||Authority to use reasonable force|
|5.||Escalating use of force|
|5.1||Level One - no force|
|5.2||Level Two - reasonable force|
|6.||Warning and order to a group of offenders - unlawful assembly - riot - mutiny|
|7.||Water under high pressure|
|8.||Use of chemical agents|
|9.||Use of batons|
|10.||Use of Restraints|
|10.1||Use of handcuffs|
|10.2||Use of body belts and leg irons|
|11.||Use of lethal force|
|11.1||Requirements for use of lethal force|
|12.||Reporting the use of force|
|12.3||IOMS reporting of use of force incidents|
To provide for the lawful use of force by corrective services officers.
Refer Corrective Services Act 2006, (CSA) ss. 143-148.
Only appropriately trained and authorised officers will be issued with, carry, use and store weapons necessary for officers to perform their duty in compliance with CSA s. 144.
Only the necessary amount of force justified by law is to be used to effect a lawful purpose.
The general manager of a corrective services facility and the General Manager, Escort and Security Branch must provide for the administration and control of the use of weapons and other security devices.
'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)
'Chemical Agents Advanced Instructor'-
'Chemical Agents Instructor' - A corrective services officer who has been certified as a Chemical Agents Instructor by an Advanced Chemical Agents Instructor.
'Chemical Agents Operator' - A corrective services officer who has been certified to use chemical agents by a Chemical Agents Instructor.
'grievous bodily harm' - (refer Criminal Code Act (Qld), s. 1)
'lethal force' - (refer Corrective Services Act 2006, Schedule 4)
Refer Criminal Code Act (Qld) 1899, ss. 271-273
Self-defence is a separate issue from the use of force described in this procedure and should not be read in conjunction with it.
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.
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 helping 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-
Refer procedures - Issue and Use of Safety and Security Equipment; Maintenance of Safety and Security Equipment; Escort of Offenders (in-confidence); Weapons and Ammunition Management (in-confidence); and appendices - Weapons and Munitions Schedule (in-confidence); Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (in-confidence) (Location); Escort Staffing, Weapons and Restraint Matrix (in-confidence) (Method QCS)
Corrective services officers must assess the level of risk presented by the individual(s) / situation and choose their options.
The assessment must be done prior to use of force and must continue to be assessed during the situation, until the incident is resolved. In assessing the level of risk presented, the corrective services officer must consider level of use of force including but not limited to-
A corrective services officer's presence will be sufficient to ensure the compliance of individuals to any given direction or instruction without incident.
Reasonable force may be used on individual/s who resist, fail to acknowledge or comply with any instruction or direction given by a corrective services officer and includes in ascending order-
Before the use of reasonable force, a clear and audible warning must be given to individual/s within reasonable hearing distance using, if readily available, amplified equipment. Sufficient time must be given for the warning to be observed.
Reasonable force may be used to-
An offender is given a direction by a corrective services officer to vacate his/her cell but refuses to comply. The officer may take hold of the offender and remove him/her from the cell.
A visitor to a corrective services facility is advised that he/she is not permitted to enter the facility and is asked to leave. If the visitor refuses to leave, a corrective services officer may take hold of the visitor and remove him/her from the facility.
Refer procedure - Riot or Major Disturbance - Code Black
Where a corrective services officer believes on reasonable grounds that an assembly of offenders is unlawful within the meaning of CSA s. 122, that officer must, where practical, verbally warn the offenders that their actions constitute: unlawful assembly; or Riot; or Mutiny, and order that they stop such behaviour immediately.
The warning and order must provide offenders 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 offenders and (if readily accessible) using amplified equipment.
The warning, order and subsequent behaviour of the offenders after the warning and order is given, must, if practical, be recorded by means of sound, visual or audio visual recording equipment, and such recordings made under this procedure must be retained in accordance with Libraries Act 1988 and appendix - Queensland Corrective Services Retention and Disposal Schedule.
The warning must provide clear information to the offenders regarding their position in relation to CSA s. 122, that is, they are participating in-
The order that offenders stop their behaviour immediately must-
High pressure water hoses may be used by corrective services officers to subdue offenders to prevent or stop any disturbance in which there exists a threat of death, 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 s. 143(4)(c).
Water under pressure must never be aimed at an offender's face.
Corrective services officers must only use the chemical agents approved by the Agency.
Refer procedure - Weapons and Ammunition Management (in-confidence) and appendix - Weapons and Munitions Schedule (in-confidence).
Only those corrective services officers trained in the delivery of chemical agents are authorised to use chemical agents under the following conditions-
When authorised for use, the most senior officer present must observe and supervise the use of chemical agents. The exceptions are those corrective services officers approved or assigned chemical agents as part of their necessary duty equipment who are authorised to use them as the situation dictates.
Precautions must be taken to avoid or minimise inflicting chemical agents upon non-involved offenders and other personnel.
Use of chemical agents and decontamination must include but is not limited to-
If practical, a clear warning to the offenders in the area must be given at least twice, before a chemical agent is used and an avenue must be provided for offenders to leave the affected area.
There are a number of considerations to be aware of prior to the use of chemical agents-
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 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 offender being subdued.
Corrective services officers must only use restraints approved by the Agency. Refer Appendix - Weapons and Munitions 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 Agency Control and Restraint Manual.
The corrective service officers must exercise care to avoid injury to the offender being restrained.
For any planned use of handcuffs, two officers must be present at all times. Offenders are to be handcuffed to the front unless the offender is likely to become non-compliant or self harm. In these instances, an offender may be handcuffed to the rear. When an offender is handcuffed to the rear, they must be supported at all times.
Whenever a body belt and leg irons are to be applied or removed, a minimum of three officers must be present. The offender is to be supported throughout the application and removal process. Wherever possible the offender is to be placed in the kneeling position when applying or removing leg irons.
Lethal force is defined in CSA Schedule 4.
A trained and authorised officer may use lethal force, involving weapons, that is reasonably necessary-
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 otherwise be directed.
Refer CSA s. 146(3)
A corrective services officer trained in the use of lethal force may use lethal force if the officer-
The corrective services officer need not comply with section 10 (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
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 practical.
Refer procedure - Emergencies
When a corrective services officer has considered it reasonable to apply physical or chemical force to an offender or other person in compliance with the CSA, 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 corrective services facility or General Manager, Escort and Security Branch must report the event in accordance with the procedure - Incident Reporting - Custodial (in-confidence).
The general manager of a corrective services facility or General Manager, Escort and Security Branch must notify the Deputy Commissioner, Custodial Operations immediately, in accordance with the procedure - Incident Reporting - Custodial (in-confidence) of the-
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.
The officer who had control of the firearm must submit a written report to the general manager of the corrective services facility or General Manager, Escort and Security Branch prior to ceasing duty.
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. Refer procedure - Use of Force
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 procedure - Incident Reporting - Custodial (in-confidence)
When an event involving the use of force has been brought under control and the situation is normalized, all staff involved must attend a debriefing session in accordance with procedures- Operational Debriefing; Managing Traumatic Events at Work.
In the case of events involving lethal force the general manager must also ensure that offenders involved in or affected by the event, undergo a debriefing by a psychologist or counsellor.