Corrections officers at Metro Jail use wearable shock gloves to help with inmate compliance

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - With around 1,500 inmates in Metro Jail it’s common for things to get unruly.

“We have assaults on a daily basis, said Warden Trey Oliver. “We have fights between inmates on almost a daily basis.”

Which is why over a year ago Sheriff Sam Cochran ordered some of these gloves after seeing them demonstrated at a conference. In the 14 months since they’ve been used, corrections officers have already seen results.

“They’re starting to get more familiar in the jails so a lot of times when we have an incident and they see us coming and putting on the gloves they’ll go ahead and comply.” Said Corporal Johnny Pugh.

The gloves are used along with other tools like pepper spray, batons, and tasers. Even though they give off a shock like a taser the gloves do have their advantages.

“When you shoot a taser it actually takes the risk of someone going down and injuring themselves. With the gloves it’s actually hands on so I have more control of a person that’s going down,” added Pugh.

Corporal Johnny Pugh says the gloves give off less voltage than a microwave and it normally doesn’t take long to get compliance.

“Normally a cycle is between 5-10 seconds,” said Pugh. “A lot of times we use them on their arm, their back, or their leg, and normally once you touch them they comply.”

The main goal of resolving violent conflicts in metro is to do so without an officer or an inmate getting injured. Warden Trey Oliver says that’s exactly what these gloves have helped them do.

“If our people get injured that costs the taxpayers. If the inmate gets injured that costs the taxpayers. For $1,400 we’re able to end a situation that has escalated out of control and bring it into control in a matter of seconds,” said Oliver.

Currently, the staff at Metro Jail has 15 pairs of gloves, but the warden mentioned that they plan on ordering more of these gloves as part of future budgets. At some point, he’s hoping to have 25-35% of the staff at metro outfitted with these gloves. He also says they are participating in a year-long study to see how effective the gloves are in deescalating scenarios before the use of force has to be applied.

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