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Shotguns will stay in Nevada prisons

Posted at 7:34 PM, Oct 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-13 22:34:52-04

Prison guards armed with shotguns killed a handcuffed inmate and injured several others in multiple incidents last year at High Desert State Prison. 

The guards' actions resulted in lawsuits, a state review of the use of force and a Contact 13 Investigation.  Darcy Spears has the latest from a report just released Tuesday.

The report everyone's been waiting for on the use of shotguns packed with bird shot to control prisoners conducted by  an independent group made up of state correctional administrators says Nevada prison guards should not be shooting at inmates.  But prison officials say for now, shotguns are here to stay.

The report found Nevada's Department of Corrections (NDOC) is improperly relying on live ammunition instead of proper staffing. 

Guards, not guns, should be controlling inmates. 

The report recommends stopping the routine use of shotguns. 

And once enough guards are hired and trained there should be no need to use them at all. The report calls bird shot indiscriminate, meaning it can hit unintended targets.

NDOC has started using a rubber stinger round as an additional step before live rounds are fired.

Though they hope to reduce the use of live rounds, they maintain that shotguns are needed to stop serious assaults and to protect both staff and inmates. 

NDOC agrees with many of the report's recommendations. 

Especially the need for increased staffing and more training.

Their response will now go to the board of prison commissioners for further consideration.  

The report and NDOC's response is available by clicking here.