Use of Force – Page 2

Use of Force Policy Guidelines

The original version of this document was developed in early 2019 as part of the Policing Project’s role in the Working Group on Officer-Involved Fatalities at the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and was included in the Toolkit for Prosecutors and Communities to Address and Prevent Police-Involved Fatalities. The toolkit was the result of a year-long collaboration between family members, prosecutors, police chiefs, and law enforcement and policy experts, including the Policing Project.

The current Guidelines were updated in August 2021.

Crisis Intervention Team Training in a Correctional Setting: Examining Compliance, Mental Health Referrals, and Use of Force

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model was developed as a specialized police-based program in which officers are trained to safely interact with individuals with mental illnesses. In 2011, the Minnesota Department of Corrections adapted this program for corrections. This study compares prison incidents involving CIT officers to a comparison sample of non-CIT incidents on a number of outcomes, including gaining compliance from people in custody (either immediately or as an incident unfolds), making mental health referrals, and using force against people in custody. We conducted a content analysis of reports describing 500 incidents in an all-male, maximum security prison and estimated multivariate binary logistic models
to control for characteristics of situations, incarcerated people, and employees. The findings provide some support for implementing CIT training in a correctional setting, but some less encouraging results show that improvements to the program are
still needed


It is the policy of the Department of Justice to value and preserve human life. Officers may use only the force that is objectively reasonable to effectively gain control of an incident, while protecting the safety of the officer and others, in keeping with the standards set forth in Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989). Officers may use force only when no reasonably effective, safe, and feasible alternative appears to exist and may use only the level of force that a reasonable officer on the scene would use under the same or similar circumstances.

CDCR Adopted Regulations NCR 21-03

(CDCR) policy governing the use of force. The policy has its foundation in California Penal. Code statutes and relevant case decisions.


Attached is the Justice Department’s updated use-of-force policy. This policy has been crafted in consultation with, and has been approved by, the heads ofthe ATF, DEA, FBI, and USMS. With these updates, our Department-wide policy is now more in line with the training and best practices you use every day. Our policy was last updated in 2004 –eighteen years ago. In the time since, you have all spent countless hours training to the highest standards of law enforcement.

Use of Force

Projects regarding data collection established by the Bureau of Justice Statistics

National Use-of-Force Data Collection

The FBI created the National Use of Force Data Collection in 2015, in partnership with law enforcement agencies, to provide nationwide statistics on law enforcement use-of-force incidents.

Use of Force Data and Transparency

The database can be navigated by using state and subtopic filters. Text searching is available for statutory summaries or statutory language contained in the database. The map is also interactive and allows you to more quickly select multiple states to review―just hold down the control key to select more than one state. Use the reset button at the top left to clear all filters and start a new search.