Control & Restraint Techniques

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Control and restraint are important in a prison or asylum environment where the chances of prisoners or patients becoming violent are high. While sedation is normally the best method to bring violent individuals under control, it cannot always be applied. When there is more than one person going violent, the use of control and restraint techniques is an easier and faster method to bring them under control.

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What are Control and Restraint Techniques?

Control and restraint techniques (C&R) are a comparatively newer addition to the skill sets of prison officers and asylum security personnel. These techniques are a combination of defensive and aggressive moves to subdue an out of control prisoner or patient. Control and restraint techniques generally follow a fixed procedure that involves teams of personnel, each with a pre-assigned role or task. The procedure would allow the personnel to gain quick command over any disorderly or serious incident.

How Do Control and Restraint Techniques Work?

C&R techniques have been designed to provide quick response to any situation that is likely to escalate into a violent or serious one. Prisons and mental asylums are major areas where C&R techniques are applied. The Control & Restraint team generally comprises of personnel who have been trained to react quickly to any situation and use specific methods to diffuse it. The team can be a two or three member team for a single person situation or a bigger one of larger situations.

What Are the Basic Principles of Control and Restraint?

C&R techniques call for an open-minded assessment of the situation by the security personnel involved and an approach that is safe and uses the proper techniques. It should follow the line of least resistance and attack the situation from an angle that turns the momentum in the favour of the security personnel. Use of force should only be as much as is required. If the situation changes, the personnel must be quick in moving from one control and restraint technique to another.

What Should Be the Approach in any C&R Situation?

The security personnel should ideally approach the miscreants from an angle that is diagonal to their direct line of sight and quickly secure their arms/wrists. The personnel need to carry cool heads and quick reactions. Each C&R personnel should have the ability to think on his feet and remain completely focused on the situation to keep it from deteriorating.

What Are the Steps in Control and Restraint Techniques?

Control and restraint starts from the initial identification of a potentially violent situation. Quick deployment of trained personnel would then lead to isolation of the situation and the individuals involved in the situation. Force would be used only if necessary to either separate individuals that are locked in a violent struggle or to separate factions from each other. Once the parties have been isolated, they would quickly but forcefully be led away from the area and contained in separate holding sections until things cool down.

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