The PepperBall system is built upon a foundational belief: to use “only the amount of force necessary”. It promotes the philosophy of mirroring the force to an inmate’s actions, no more and no less. This ensures respect for inmate rights while safeguarding the safety and control within the correctional environment.

PepperBall's primary draw is its versatility. Unlike rigid methods like the CS gas canister, where all the CS gas must be expelled before the canister will stop producing gas, PepperBall offers more precise control and will give officers additional choices in a prison or jail.

PepperBall isn’t just a one-size-fits-all tool. In situations where minimal force is needed, inert rounds can be utilized. These rounds, devoid of any live agent, strike with a mild 10-12 foot-pounds of energy, often sufficient for compliance. However, if the situation demands a heightened response, correctional officers can seamlessly transition to LIVE-X or the newer LIVE-MAXX projectiles. This dual action—of impact and PAVA (a potent irritant)—escalates the level of compliance without causing permanent harm.

Some extreme situations though, require an even higher level of force. Responding to a riot or large disturbance with the PepperBall system, officers can outfit a launcher with a 160-round EL-2 hopper. The hopper provides the option to engage many hostile inmates at once or to disengage once the effects of the PepperBall projectiles achieve the desired compliance.

Once an incident has occurred, returning the prison to normal operations as quickly as possible is a must in corrections. Clean-up of CS gas or oil-based oleoresin capsaicin (OC) is a long and time-consuming process and stretches out the recovery process for hours. Decontamination of PAVA-based projectiles is quicker and requires nothing more than cool, clean water, and fresh air. Grab a shop vac with 1-2 inches of water in the bottom, and the cleanup can be completed in minutes, not hours.

Finally, PepperBall isn’t merely a tool; it's a solution refined by the specific needs of corrections. It symbolizes the bridge between security and humanity, offering a tailored, scalable, and efficient response mechanism, making it not just the right, but the optimal choice for modern correctional facilities.

Michael Cantrell

Published on Sep 08, 2023