The US military began using chemical agents as weapons in 1918. Law enforcement personnel followed suit, but not until the late 1960s when they began using chemicals to quell group civil disturbances — think riots. Everyone who works in the business knows once it happens on the outside, it’s only a matter of time before it moves inside. Most prisons recognize chemical agents are an effective option when group resistance elevates or when individual detainees act out.
Chemical projectiles and grenades offer wide spread coverage both inside and out. Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), Chloracetophenone (CN), Chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) and smoke in pyrotechnics, liquids and powders provide hand-tossed or launched methods of delivery and help response teams in quelling disturbances. In reality, control of one individual is most often necessary and the use of launched projectiles and pyrotechnic chemicals is either unsuitable or overkill. When trying to calm just one unhappy camper, it’s probably time to pass the pepper