Law Enforcement Restraints


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.

To ensure that the metallic handcuffs used by law enforcement and corrections agencies are safe and reliable, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), through its Office of Law Enforcement Standards (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.

NIJ Standard for Metallic Handcuffs 0307.01

Revision of Standard

NIJ is currently revising and updating NIJ Metallic Handcuffs Standard-0307.01. As such, NIJ organized a Special Technical Committee (STC) in October 2008 that is currently revising the standard. NIJ undertook this effort because the NIJ Standard for Metallic Handcuffs 0307.01 was published in March 1982. Since that time, new technologies and types of restraints have come into widespread use. Both of these issues need to be addressed in the NIJ standard because improperly or inadequately restrained detainees pose an immediate threat to criminal justice officers, the general public and themselves.

Revised Standard

  • Includes minimum requirements for form and fit, performance, testing, documentation and labeling of restraints.
  • Addresses wrist and ankle restraints only.
  • Defines restraint types based on intended operational use.
 Type  Number of uses  Key Type  Typical use
 Type 1  1  Keyless  Mass arrest, detainment or evacuation
 Type 2  Multiple (<20)  Standard  Mass arrest, detainment or evacuation
 Type 3  Multiple (~1000)  Standard  Duty restraints
 Type 4  Multiple (~1000)  Non-standard  For use on high-risk individuals

Draft NIJ Restraints Standard - 0307.02 
March 1, 2010

NIJ Criminal Justice Restraints Selection and Application Guide
July 1, 2010

NIJ Restraints Certification Program Requirements-NIJ CR-0307.00 
March 1, 2012