Commissioner's Directive

Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes




Applies to staff involved in the use of restraint equipment for security purposes


  1. The Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure that restraint equipment is available and in good working order
    2. ensure that applicable staff members receive training on the use and application of restraint equipment consistent with the Security Equipment Manual
    3. ensure that Standing Orders address:
      1. the access, control and safekeeping of restraint equipment
      2. the use of restraint equipment within and outside the institution consistent with the Engagement and Intervention Model.
  2. The Institutional Head, or delegate, may authorize the use of restraint equipment in non-routine circumstances upon the completion of an individual Threat Risk Assessment, when all other reasonable methods of control have been considered pursuant to CD 567 – Management of Incidents, Annex B – Engagement and Intervention Model.
  3. All staff involved in the incident will complete a Statement/Observation Report  (CSC/SCC 0875).


  1. Normally, restraint equipment will be available at all control posts.
  2. Handcuffs will be carried by all Correctional Officers/Primary Workers who have direct contact with inmates based on their post assignment in maximum, medium and multi-level institutions, with the exception of Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. In all other cases, the Institutional Head may authorize the carrying of handcuffs by trained staff members if required by the situation.
  3. When specified in a Standing Order, restraint equipment may be used in routine circumstances, but limited to what is reasonably required for safety or security purposes.
  4. When specified in a Commissioner’s Directive or Standing Order, the use of restraint equipment during routine circumstances does not constitute a reportable use of force unless:
    1. the inmate is resisting, or
    2. the action results in a higher level response or injury to the inmate.
  5. The selection of restraint equipment options and application position (front or back), will take into consideration the size and flexibility of inmate (e.g., use of oversized or double set of cuffs).
  6. When in use, restraint equipment will be checked and adjusted accordingly by a Correctional Officer/Primary Worker on a regular basis to ensure:
    1. the inmate’s general safety and well-being
    2. that the equipment is not too tight
    3. that the inmate is not in distress due to lack of physical flexibility, or
    4. that the equipment has not been tampered with or altered.
  7. If an inmate in restraint equipment is demonstrating distress cues, the use of that equipment will be reassessed immediately. Situational factors will determine the requirements for modification or removal of the restraint equipment while maintaining the appropriate level of risk management.
  8. If an inmate wearing restraint equipment while being transported is out of direct observation of a Correctional Officer/Primary Worker, the equipment will be checked as soon as the inmate is again within direct observation.
  9. Under no circumstances will an inmate be suspended from a wall, the cell bars or any object, in a fashion that prevents them from supporting their own body weight. The individual must be able, at all times, to relieve the pressure on the body part to which the restraint equipment is applied.
  10. The use of restraints for health purposes will be managed pursuant to CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm.


  1. If time and circumstances permit, assessment and approval by a Physician will normally be sought by the escorting officers to determine the safest and most appropriate restraint option.
  2. Restraints will only be used as a last resort with pregnant inmates. If restraint equipment is used on a pregnant inmate, extreme caution must be exercised to ensure that both the woman and fetus are protected from injury (e.g. supported by staff on each side while walking).
  3. Pregnant inmates will not be restrained during labour and delivery.
  4. When pregnant inmates are being transported, body belts, if required, must be applied in such a way so as to ensure that no pressure is exerted on the inmate’s stomach or torso.


  1. The use of restraints during a reportable use of force will be documented using the Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).

Interim Commissioner,

Original Signed by:
Anne Kelly




CD 566-6 – Security Escorts
CD 567 – Management of Incidents
CD 567-1 – Use of Force
CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm


Restraint equipment: an approved device listed in the Security Equipment Manual intended to temporarily restrict or limit free movement.

Engagement and Intervention Model: a risk-based, person-centred, graphic representation used to assist staff with activating engagement and intervention strategies.

Threat Risk Assessment: an evaluation of factors that could pose a danger to the management of an offender, the safety of others, or security of an operational unit in particular circumstances. This will be documented in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.