Offender Rights Part 3: Use of Force and Due Process

Offender Rights Part 3: Use of Force and Due Process 

Correctional staff are authorized to use force against detainees/inmates in a variety of different situations. However, correctional staff must be cautious in exercising this authority. Criminal and civil liabilities can be imposed if the amount of force used is perceived to be excessive or unjustified. This course will provide correctional staff working in adult jails and prisons with an overview of the use of force, including case law examples, to guide correctional staff in what force can be used, how much can be used, and when it can be used. You will also learn some important information related to documenting situations when force is used. The interactive exercises and practical case studies will help you apply the concepts to your job.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy


This course has been approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 2.00 hours. CJA Lesson Plan #6103

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.00 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-OR3-V2
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 1/31/2024
Learning Objectives:
Identify the 5 situations in which the use of force is acceptable.
Identify the 3 situations in which deadly force may be used.
Determine whether the use of force was justified in case scenarios.
List more than 8 types of information you should document in use of force reports.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: The Basics On Use of Force A. Case Scenario: Inmate Rollins B. Situations When Can Force Be Used C. Reasonably Necessary Standard D. Force Continuums E. Use of Force Policies F. Case Scenario Review G. Summary Section 3: The Courts on Use of Force A. Use of Force and Liability B. What Are the Key Questions? C. Case in Point: Hickey V. Reeder D. Excessive Use of Force E. Situations When Deadly Force Can Be Used F. Using Deadly Force to Prevent Escape G. Split-Second Decisions H. Evaluating Use of Force Cases to Determine Level of Injury I. Force and Punishment and Evolving Norms of Decency J. Mechanical Restraints K. Tasers L. Chemical Agents M. Weapons N. The Last Resort O. Key Take-Aways on Use of Force Decisions P. Case Scenario Review Q. Summary Section 4: Documenting Use of Force A. Documentation in Use of Force Cases B. Incident Reports: Types of Information to Include C. Cautionary Tips in Documentation D. Photographs and Digital Evidence E. Review F. Summary Section 5: Conclusion G. Summary H. Course Contributors I. Resources J. References K. Congratulations! L. Exam M. BrainSparks

Expert Reviewer: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer
Linda L. Bryant, J.D. is veteran public safety official and legal expert. She served as the Deputy Attorney General for Virginia for Criminal Justice and Public Safety where she supervised a team of over 80 attorneys who represented the state's public safety agencies in state and federal courts. She and her team provided legal advice on public safety matters and policy development to the Governor of Virginia, the Secretary of Public Safety, all public safety agencies and the state legislature. Her duties also included providing legal advice to and overseeing all litigation against the state Department of Corrections. She also served for nearly 18 years as a state prosecutor, where she prosecuted thousands of cases focusing her efforts on violent crime, serving as lead trial attorney on over 40 murder cases. During that time she also taught as an Adjunct Professor at the College of William and Mary law school. She also served on the Working Group that developed the "21st Century Principles of Prosecution, Peace Officer Use of Force Project" for the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Ms. Bryant is currently the Assistant Superintendent and Compliance Attorney at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, a jail with an average daily population of approximately 1100 inmates. The jail houses special needs inmates to include those with serious medical and mental health concerns. Disclosure: Linda L. Bryant, J.D., Sworn Jail Officer has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, M.S.
Mrs. Cobb is a Content Writer for Public Safety and Health and Human Services at Relias. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Mrs. Cobb has 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. She has worked in direct service positions as well as in research, training, and technical assistance capacities. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky managing federal, state, and foundation grants awarded to the College of Medicine, Behavioral Science department, Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, and Kentucky Rural Medical Centers.


Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, M.S. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Juvenile Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.