News Releases

Use of Deadly Force Policy Issued December 1, 1998

The California Department of Corrections is currently undergoing a review of its use of force policy. Pending completion of this review and appropriate revisions to policy, procedures and training, the following will be strictly adhered to:

Deadly Force is defined as “any use of force that is likely to result in death.

Deadly force will only be used when it is the reasonable force needed to:

  • Defend the employee or other persons from an immediate threat of death or great bodily injury.
  • Prevent an escape.
  • Stop acts such as riots or arson that constitute an immediate jeopardy to institutional security and, because of their magnitude, are likely to result in escapes or the death of other persons.
  • Dispose of seriously injured or dangerous animals, when no other disposition is practical.

A firearm shall not be discharged if there is reason to believe that persons other than the intended target may be injured.

It is the Department’s expectation that you continue to stress that deadly force is not intended to stop fist fights.

Please ensure that staff are notified and trained regarding these modifications and that your local operational procedures are appropriately updated.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact your respective Regional Administrator.

C.A. Terhune
Department of Corrections