Visit the US Department of Justice
National Institute of Corrections
Corrections Community

A place where all corrections professionals can interact and collaborate.

You are not signed in! To post comments and participate in discussions you need to sign in or create a free account.

Cutdown Tools Used with Suicide Attempts

rated by 0 users
This post has 31 Replies | 19 Followers

Top 500 Contributor
Level 2 MVP
Points 525

The Texas Prison Agency uses a "Fold Out Seatbelt cutter."  It is a curved stainless steel blade that cuts quicly woithout the risk of danger to the victim.  The website:  http://www.galls.com/style.html?assort=general_catalog&style.  Item #KN211 at a price of $16.99/each.

Nathaniel Quarterman, Director, Correctional Institutions Division

TDCJ 

936-437-2170

 

 

Top 200 Contributor
Level 2 MVP
Points 572
John replied on Tue, Jul 3 2007 9:07 AM

Here's a recent report from the PA DOC Technology Evaluation Committee (TEC) on cutdown tools.  I have pictures, too, but I cannot attach them. 

 

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Department of Corrections

S.C.I. Retreat

June 18, 2007

 

 

Subject:  Rescue Tool Test and Evaluation

               

 

To:          Central Office Security Department

 

           

From:      Kurt J. Girmen

                Major S.C.I. Retreat

 

              

 

                Recently I assigned Lieutenant Eustice to test and evaluate 2 (two) rescue tools. Because the current tool that we were instructed to purchase years ago by Central Office is unable to effectively cut through a large diameter items such as a rolled sheet or Restricted Housing coverall.

 

               The first tool tested was the Benchmade “7 Hook” provide to us by Central Office Security. It has and extremely small cutting surface of less than a half inch, which severely limits the tools effective use in the Correctional setting.

 

               The First item tested was a standard bed sheet rolled up in the diameter of a rope. This tool took approximately 22 seconds to cut through the rolled sheet, due to the small diameter of the exposed cutting surface.

 

               The Second item tested was an authorized extension cord. The tool took approximately 1 second to cut through the cord.

 

               The Third item tested was the standard issued coverall for our Restricted Housing Units rolled up in the diameter of a rope. The tool was unable to cut through the coverall, due to the small diameter of the exposed cutting surface.

 

               The Fourth item test was the standard issue brown clothing shirt or trouser rolled up in the diameter of a rope. Again, the tool was unable to cut through the clothing, due to the small diameter of the exposed cutting surface.

 

 

              The Second tool tested was the Smith & Wesson “SW911”. This tool has a large open blade design approximately 4 inches in length with a serrated edge.

This tools blade has a blunt tip in the shape of a standard screwdriver. The blade can be opened into a locked position.

 

                The First item tested was an authorized extension cord. The tool took approximately 1 second to cut through the cord.

 

                The Second item tested was a standard bed sheet rolled up in the diameter of a rope. This tool took approximately 5 seconds to cut through the rolled sheet, due to the large cutting surface and use of a sawing motion of the serrated edge.

 

                The Third item tested was the standard issued coverall for our Restricted Housing Units rolled up in the diameter of a rope. The tool was able to cut through the coverall, in approximately 15 seconds due to the large cutting surface and the use of a sawing motion of the serrated edge.

 

               The Fourth item test was the standard issue brown clothing shirt or trouser rolled up in the diameter of a rope. Again, the tool was able to cut through the clothing, in approximately 15 seconds due to the large cutting surface and the use of a sawing motion of the serrated edge.

 

               However; while this tool extremely fast in cutting it would need to be handled with extreme caution because of the open blade design. There also exists the possibility of it becoming a weapon should the inmate acquire it during a faked suicide attempt. The potential risk for someone getting cut in a stressful situation also exists if the tool slips while attempting the cut down.

 

              In conclusion it is the evaluator’s opinion that neither tool is a good choice for a Correctional setting. However; there may be other tools that possibly

could be considered that have a larger J-hook design. These tools seem to have enough cutting surface to cut larger diameter material while fairly safe to use. The hook design would allow for the cutting of the clothing from around the inmates neck area should it be necessary. One type has been located on the internet, it is as follows: The Pacific Cutlery Rescue 911 Tool which also has a lanyard. This tool was located on the Tactical Solutions Corporation web site.

 

               If this tool is obtained we would be more than happy to evaluate this tool as well.

 

               Attached are pictures from the evaluation of the 2 rescue tools. If there are any questions please contact me.

 

 

John S. Shaffer, Ph.D.
Executive Deputy Secretary
PA Department of Corrections
717-975-4868
Top 75 Contributor
Level 3 MVP
Points 879
okiedavidk replied on Wed, Aug 29 2007 10:22 AM

At our facility we have a noose knife, which is a blade. It works relatively well.

Not Ranked
Points 5
Brian replied on Sun, Jan 6 2008 11:48 PM

I have a question does anyone have a lesson plan or how to guide for the use of Cutdown Tools used for suicide attempts.   If anyone has this type of lesson plan or guide would you mind sharing this information with me ?

 

thanks

 

Top 500 Contributor
Level 2 MVP
Points 458

Hey there,

     We use a "Knife of Life" - it is a hook style blade that closes like a regular pocket knife. Each Post has a one assigned to thier area (in a secured compartment) and it is inventoried by each shift coming and going. We obtained our from Galls. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me. Thank you!

Cpl. James Aguiar, Jr.

Marion Co Sheriff's Office

Ocala, FL.

Not Ranked
Points 39
Connie: What did you end up using and how did you evaluate the various tools? At Cook County Jail we are re-evaluating our current tool at the request of the Sheriff. Would appreciate your help--or that of any member of this community. Thank you, Carlos Gomez Director of Mental Health Cook County Jail Chicago, IL
Top 75 Contributor
Level 3 MVP
Points 2,231

We have used EMT shears for several years now with good results. They are kept at the officer’s station and inventoried at every shift change.

Not Ranked
Level 1 MVP
Points 322
Mr. CarlosQGomez, I am sorry for my delay in answering your question. I asked our (Montana State Prison's) security manager what cutdown tool security staff chose. He replied, "After extensive testing of numerous products, we found utilizing a standard EMT shear, through Tool Control procedures, was the best alternative for us." He did not specify what were the "numerous products" that were tried. I have a hard copy of "Evaluation Completion - Suicide Cut-Down Tools." It was e-mailed to me on in August 2006 by John Ely, Security Specialist at the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington, DC (202) 307-3191. It is informative. If you have further questions, please contact me. I will be timely in my response. (406)-846-1320, ext. 2408. Connie
Not Ranked
Points 5
My name is Margaret Anthony. I am the Unit Training manager for the maximum Security Unit of the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections. If it is at all possible, would you email the photos you referred to to margaret.anthony@arkansas.gov?
Not Ranked
Points 47
We also use the Rescue Tool from Bob Barker. We keep 3 in Emergency Window Boxes. 1 in booking, 1 in Observation, and one in Central Control. I was wondering if anyone has any training material on using the tool?
Not Ranked
Points 5
RogerD replied on Sun, Jan 2 2011 9:14 PM
Thanks for this information. Roger.
Not Ranked
Points 5
ksrrider replied on Fri, Feb 11 2011 11:58 AM
Thank you. This is exactly the information we are looking for. Thank you.
Page 2 of 2 (32 items) < Previous 1 2 | RSS