Metallic Handcuffs Compliance Testing Program

The restraint and control of prisoners is one of the most important aspects of officer safety for both law enforcement and corrections personnel. Prisoners who are improperly or inadequately restrained pose an immediate threat to the safety of the personnel responsible for their control and custody, and ultimately, to the safety of the general public.
Metallic Handcuffs Compliant Product List

To ensure that the metallic handcuffs used by law enforcement and corrections agencies are safe and reliable, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), through the Law Enforcement Standards Office (OLES), developed a national voluntary minimum performance standard for metallic handcuffs (NIJ Standard-0307.01). This standard specifies requirements for user information, markings, workmanship, weight, dimensions, mechanical strength, salt spray corrosion resistance and cheek-plate tamper resistance.

The testing program is administered by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center-National (NLECTC-National). Manufacturers seeking NIJ compliance status for their models of metallic handcuffs must submit a sample of the model to NLECTC-National, where the user information, markings and workmanship are inspected to ensure compliance with the NIJ standard. To meet the requirements of the standard, a sample of five handcuffs is tested. For a model to comply fully with the standard, four of the five pairs of handcuffs must meet all of the requirements. Samples are tested at independent laboratories that have been approved by NIJ.

Models tested through NLECTC-National's testing program and found to comply with all the requirements of the standard are listed in NLECTC's Metallic Handcuff Consumer Product List (CPL), which is updated periodically.

Interested in Submitting Restraints for NIJ Compliance Testing in Accordance With NIJ Standard-0307.01?

Manufacturers interested in submitting restraints for compliance testing should first review NIJ Standard-0307.01 to ensure familiarity with testing, labeling and workmanship requirements. Second, the manufacturer should contact an NIJ-approved laboratory to schedule a compliance test. Once the laboratory has been contacted and a test date has been scheduled, manufacturers submit five samples of each handcuff model along with a letter requesting the testing to be conducted in accordance with NIJ Standard 0307.01 and notifying NLECTC of the test date and testing facility that will conduct the test. Once the CTP has the handcuffs, staff will inspect them to ensure that they meet the labeling/workmanship requirements and that the manufacturer has submitted all the essential documentation. After that, the CTP will forward the test samples to the laboratory for compliance testing.

  • NLECTC will need to have the handcuffs two weeks prior to the scheduled test date.
  • NLECTC staff will examine the handcuffs to confirm that they meet the user information, marking and workmanship requirements of the standard, and then forward the handcuffs to the laboratory conducting the testing.
  • After testing, the manufacturer will be sent a copy of the compliance test report form by the laboratory and the laboratory will return the handcuffs to NLECTC.
  • NLECTC will issue a letter of compliance to the manufacturer if the handcuffs successfully complete the testing.
  • NLECTC retains possession of the tested handcuffs in its archives.
  • NIJ/NLECTC Approved Metallic Handcuff Testing Laboratories.

New Standard

NIJ has published a new standard (Criminal Justice Restraints Standard 1001.00) that addresses single use restraints as well as nonmetallic and high security restraints. For information see


Alex Sundstrom, Testing Coordinator
Phone: (800) 248-2742 or (301) 240-6749