What Police Officers Should Know About Prisoner Transportation

National Police Training
August 20, 2012 — 1,641 views  
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The United States Justice Prisoner & Alien Transportation System is an ideal example of a successful prisoner transport system, as it is one of the largest of its kind in the world. This system typically receives about 977 daily requests to move captives between correctional institutions, foreign countries and judicial districts. Meanwhile, it completes roughly 350,000 prisoner transports annually.

Moving prisoners from one location to another can be dangerous, and police officers should consider several precautions when completing such tasks.

1. Prepare the prisoner - You should conduct a thorough search of the prisoner before departing from a facility. This captive could possess contraband or weapons, and may be a threat to public safety. Additionally, the prisoner could have keys or other tools that he or she may use to escape during transport, so you'll want to make sure to take any of these items away from this captive.

An in-depth examination includes searching inside a prisoner's mouth, on the inside surface of his or her belt and under a watch or wristband. It's better to be safe than sorry, so take the time necessary to complete a thorough investigation to avoid potential problems down the line.

After this search, make sure the prisoner is handcuffed and placed safely into the vehicle. This captive should be unable to make significant movements with his or her legs, and you must be able to keep your eyes on him or her at all times.

Ideally, two officers will be involved in the prisoner transport - one law enforcement official will watch the suspect while the other controls the vehicle. In situations where you are the only person completing the task, be sure to adjust your rear-view mirror so you can see the prisoner.

2. Stay alert - It might take an extended period of time to reach the final destination, and you'll want to do everything possible to avoid any hazardous scenarios. A suspect might become more inclined to try to distract you and may attempt to escape as the trip progresses, but police officers who remain attentive will be able to effectively handle these problems.

Maintain a professional approach as you travel between destinations. Remember, you're transporting a convicted felon - not a friend - so you should avoid conversing with this offender. Be sure to follow your department's policies when completing suspect transports, as these can also serve you well. 

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