New Zealand: Prison boss defends inmate riot tactics

From the article: “Officers confronted by 29 rioting inmates at the Spring Hill prison would have been overwhelmed if they had tried to use pepper spray, Corrections Department chief executive Ray Smith says.”

So, what do you think was their better option?

Mr Smith said the prison officers who arrested the rioting inmates had “the tools that were best going to work”, including helmets, shields, stab-proof vests and batons.

No offense to the prison staff, but that is malarkey.  It is always more dangerous to use instruments that force an officer to get within arms’ length of a rioting inmate (or any person).  Batons and physical force always place officers and inmates at more risk.  The better option would have been non-lethal chemical munitions.  I don’t agree with the Corrections Association president’s comments in the article, but I do agree that officers should have ready access to chemical munitions – in this case, they were apparently locked away and inaccessible, so they might as well have not have had any at all.

Then again, hindsight is always 20/20 in critical incident management…

Read the article here.

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