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Prison wardens equipped with pepper spray

Guards handling the toughest prisoners hope to cut back on assaults and injuries


Prison wardens are now allowed to carry pepper sprays in high-security prisons (Photo: Scanpix)

July 14, 2014
12:26

by Andreas Jakobsen


Prison wardens working at high-security prisons will now be armed with pepper spray as part of their everyday outfit when they are dealing with the most hardened and violent criminals, Information reports. 

Pepper spray cans were previously locked in closets and could only be used in extreme emergency situations.

Protecting guards
Justice Minister Karen Hækkerup announced this morning that she has extended the list of scenarios in which guards are allowed to use pepper spray against prisoners.

The new weapon may also limit the risk of violent assaults against the prison wardens.

"The Justice Ministry will additionally emphasise that such an extension can help to ensure staff security," Hækkerup wrote in an email to parliament. 

Just one more weapon
According to the national prison and probation service, Kriminalforsorgen, pepper sprays have had the desired preventative effect, as they in extreme cases can be deployed to pacify inmates and minimise the need for a further use of force.

However, the national association of defence lawyers, Landsforeningen af Forsvarsadvokater, and the national legal advisors association, KRIM, have both warned that pepper spray may become yet another way for prison wardens to use force against prisoners, even though it is intended to replace previous forcible means.



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