LA Jail Getting Pain Causing Device to Use on Inmates

Unbelievable, but true. At 7.5 feet tall, the
"Assault Intervention Device" is the hottest new non-lethal weapon out there. And it's coming to a jail in LA.

What does it do? It shoots out rays that cause extreme, unbearable pain.

The 7½-foot-tall Assault Intervention Device emits a focused, invisible ray that causes an unbearable heating sensation in its targets – hopefully stopping inmates from fighting or doing anything other than trying to get out of its way, sheriff's officials said.

The device, unveiled Friday at Pitchess Detention Center, will be mounted near the ceiling in a dormitory housing about 65 prisoners, according to Commander Bob Osborne of the Sheriff's Department Technology Exploration Program.

It's intended use: To break up fights between inmates.[More...]

"We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam," Osborne said. "So that we have fewer injuries, fewer assaults, those kinds of things."

It takes only a few seconds to feel the pain:

The device is controlled by a joystick and computer monitor and emits a beam about the size of a CD up to distances of about 80 to 100 feet. The wave travels at the speed of light and penetrates the skin up to 1/64 of an inch.

"If you got in the way, you'll know...You feel the effect in less than a second. No one can stand there for more than about three seconds because it really hurts."

There are plans to use the device on a nation-wide basis:

The device is being evaluated for a period of six months by the National Institute of Justice for use in jails nationwide to curb inmate violence, and it was installed at no cost to the Sheriff's Department.

The device is made by Raytheon, you can read about it here.

Active Denial emits a focused beam of wave energy that travels at the speed of light and produces an intolerable heating sensation that causes targeted individuals to flee. The sensation immediately ceases when the targeted individual moves away from the beam.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Ya know.... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Romberry on Mon Aug 23, 2010 at 11:52:22 PM EST
    ...some of the stuff that is coming out and gaining acceptance these days reminds me of the sort of horrors I used to read about or watch in Sci-Fi books and movies about a dystopian future.

    This device is akin to an extremely high frequency microwave.  Can't wait until they have it down to the size and cost that makes it portable for use by police in the streets, can you? (Sarcasm intended.)

    Torture and Surveillance (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:14:17 AM EST
    This sounds like a fusion of the  Panopticon and Pound of Flesh.

    Next will be flying mini drones equipped with the latest pain compliance devices.

    No mention of the unintended uses... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:54:27 AM EST
    chief among them, sadistic entertainment for prison guards.  

    Romberry said it...dystopian nightmares come to life, brought to you by corporations of tyranny like Raytheon.

    Raytheon or skynet? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:16:01 AM EST
    What ever happened to "cruel and unusual punishment" being unconstitutional? Oh, wait...

    Is "cruel and unusual punishment" (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:59:56 AM EST
    part of the 2nd Amendment? :-)

    Equivalent of "interrogation techniques" which are just a"ho hum" accepted part of our country's values? After all it has been proven that the constitution is just a damn piece of paper.


    Musta found a loophole... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:42:19 AM EST
    regarding "unusual", such as no evil form of punishment being all that unusual anymore.

    So sharks with laser beams (none / 0) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:44:46 AM EST
    aren't evil any more, as long as they are used on prisoners.

    Too bad these won't be used on guards such as the case in Denver of the homeless preacher's death. Instead, we got "Taze his &&&!"


    Laser toting Sharks is tame... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:03:20 AM EST
    I'm expecting "Clockwork Orange"-style behavior modification experiments any day now.

    Maybe we shouldn't do anything (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:10:11 AM EST
    Let the prisoners fight it out and don't try to break them up.

    Don't Worry (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:14:11 AM EST
    They are just working out the kinks before they use the technology on you.

    That's my concern. (none / 0) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:21:41 AM EST
    the military had this sytem developed, and it was deployed to Afghanistan for a time. The jail version is much smaller with shorter ranges, but how soon until police departments purchase these for 'crowd control,' irrespective of what the crowd's doing?

    That's what I'm wondering . . . (none / 0) (#23)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:57:05 AM EST
    Nah (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:03:38 AM EST
    You first.

    In response to squeaky (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:05:59 AM EST
    Who once again shows his true "liberalism" and compassion (snark)

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:08:48 AM EST
    These machines are being marketed for Police crowd control. Clearly they are testing them on a "captive audience" before they use them on the general population.

    But, being a tough on crime advocate, you imagine that they would neveeeeeer use such a device on you...  just the bad guys, to keep you safe... lol

    Nice fantasy.


    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 10:53:05 AM EST
    heaven forbid we break up a fight in the old fashioned humane way...it's so much easier, and so more fun, to hit a button and watch 'em squirm.

    We should use this machine to break up fights in the schoolyard too!


    Except (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:03:08 AM EST
    When the prisoners have weapons, it's not exactly a fair fight, no?

    No one is drafted... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:18:34 AM EST
    to become a screw...they signed up for a dangerous job.  If they wanted a career in torture they shoulda signed up with the CIA...they'll get no sympathy "ok" on the torture device from me because some prisoners make shanks outta toothbrushes.

    umm (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 11:14:49 AM EST
    in a jail - who do you think is more likely to have a weapon?  A prisoner or a guard?  If a prisoner has a weapon it is most likely make-shift and not exactly "deadly".

    No, it's not a fair fight, but not for the reason you mention.


    Can it be aimed at politicians (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 08:51:48 AM EST
    and set to be automatically activated by lies?

    They showed it on Future Weapons a while back (none / 0) (#3)
    by abdiel on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:16:09 AM EST

    Around 3:00.

    It was designed as a crowd dispersal weapon. It is described as microwave energy heating the water molecules on your skin and in your body, so abruptly that the reflex is to get out of the way. The feeling is a tingling followed by an intense burning sensation on the skin.

    feeling of burning (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jen M on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 07:20:31 AM EST
    or actual burning?

    Actual Burning (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:08:54 AM EST
    But it more like exfoliation... it heats up a very thin layer of skin..

    thin layer (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jen M on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 05:33:38 PM EST
    for how long an exposure?

    What if they enjoy keeping it aimed at the same person just for fun


    Millimeter waves... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Romberry on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 06:04:21 PM EST
    ...don't penetrate beyond about a 64th of an inch, though I suppose if you aimed at the same spot and just kept going that the heat would conduct down into the underlying flesh and cook it. (Gonna need some sauce.)

    u guys prefer ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by nyrias on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 12:27:49 PM EST
    guards going in, and use batons, to break up prisoner's fight instead?

    If this works as advertised, it does NO damage (except to a thin layer of skin). It is safer for the guards AND the prisoners.

    Sure, it hurts (that is the whole point) but i don't think fighting prisoners have the best ground to squirm about a little pain.

    Yes I would prefer that... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 11:47:08 AM EST
    at least there is a chance at humanitarian pause before clubbing somebody up close and personal...hittin' a button from the safety of the command center is just too damn easy a way to inflict pain...abuse is inevitable, just like we've seen with the blasted tasers.

    It looks like (none / 0) (#27)
    by JamesTX on Tue Aug 24, 2010 at 09:38:28 PM EST
    the torture business is booming!

    Better than ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by nyrias on Wed Aug 25, 2010 at 10:36:38 AM EST
    batons, guns & tasers.

    And it is not like the guards can turn it on at will.


    you'd all prefer (none / 0) (#29)
    by diogenes on Thu Aug 26, 2010 at 11:40:32 AM EST
    I suppose you prefer fighting prisoners being hit by batons/pepper spray.  Sometimes one prisoner is innocent and assaulted by another; anything that speeds up control can prevent injury.  I think that most of you would want to be protected by VERY well-armed guards if you were in prison yourselves.