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September 15, 2002
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NIJ standards for handcuffs


PoliceOne notes that the NIJ is currently reviewing the existing standard for handcuffs. The existing standard address the mechanics of handcuff and their manufacture, but does not address escapability.

The restraint and control of prisoners is one of the most important aspects of officer safety for both law enforcement and corrections personnel. Prisoners that are improperly or inadequately restrained pose an immediate threat to the safety of the personnel responsible for their control and custody, and ultimately to the safety of the general public.

To ensure that the metallic handcuffs used by law enforcement and corrections agencies are safe and reliable, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), through its Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES), developed a national voluntary minimum performance standard for Metallic Handcuffs (NIJ Standard-0307.01). This standard specifies requirements for user information, markings, workmanship, weight, dimensions, mechanical strength, salt spray corrosion resistance, and cheek-plate tamper resistance.

The testing program is administered by NLECTC-National. Manufacturers seeking NIJ complying status for their models of metallic handcuffs must submit a sample of the model to NLECTC-National, where the user information, markings, and workmanship are inspected to ensure compliance with the NIJ Standard. To meet the requirements of the standard, a sample of five handcuffs is tested. For a model to comply fully with the standard, four of the five pairs of handcuffs must meet all of the requirements. Samples are tested at independent laboratories which have been approved by NIJ.

Models tested through NLECTC-National''s testing program and found to comply with all of the requirements of the standard are listed in NLECTC''s rsundstrom@nlectc.org
(800) 248-2742 or (301) 519-5684

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