The effectiveness of the PepperBall® system in correctional environments is largely due to its many options for deployment. Impacting an inmate with non-lethal PepperBall projectiles is an effective way to de-escalate a potentially dangerous hands-on cell extraction, but what if the inmate has barricaded themselves with a mattress or crawled under their bunk? Here's the game-changer – PepperBall is still a successful option.

Designed for diverse situations, the system easily adapts to both direct impact scenarios, and barricade situations that require area saturation.


Area saturation is a proven technique that utilizes the kinetic energy of a PepperBall round against an inanimate object (think of a wall, ceiling, or chair) to disperse PAVA powder into a large PAVA cloud. The inmate may not be in direct line of sight, but utilizing the PepperBall launcher to impact the ceiling above the inmate’s head or the wall next to him will disperse the powder and contaminate the area surrounding the inmate.

The technique of area saturation is not restricted to just use in confined areas only. The design of a PepperBall launcher allows the use of round projectiles out to distances of 150 feet and with the shaped VXR round, area saturation can be achieved out to distances of 390 feet. This makes PepperBall the perfect tool for area denial during a riot or disturbance.


Another option for area saturation is to utilize the PepperBall Splitshot. The Splitshot is an attachment for the barrels of the FTC, TAC-SA, and PPC launchers. The Splitshot attachment is designed to break the fired PepperBall projectile and cause instant aeration of PAVA powder as it leaves the barrel of the launcher. The cloud of PAVA organic irritant will project an enveloping cloud up to 20 feet away making it perfect for confined areas and adding another layer to your tactical toolkit.

In the world of corrections, adaptability and versatility are not just preferred – they're essential. PepperBall stands out as the perfect choice for any jail or correctional center, offering solutions that go beyond expectations.

Interested in learning more about PepperBall for Corrections? Click here to schedule a demo.  

About the Author: Michael Cantrell has recently retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons as the Chief of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. A Master Instructor for PepperBall, he is considered a leading expert in the area of correctional breaching. Michael is also the author of The Prison Officer Podcast Job Guide, and can be heard every month on The Prison Officer Podcast.

Michael Cantrell

Published on Dec 01, 2023