TURTLESKIN WINS BUREAU OF PRISONS CONTRACT
USP Lewisburg replaces rigid vests with flexible TurtleSkin for cell extractions.
New Ipswich, NH, USA
The United States Penitentiary in Lewisburg, PA has awarded Warwick Mills a contract to replace rigid steel plate armor with flexible TurtleSkin Cell Extraction Armor. This contract ensures every housing unit at the maximum security USP will be stocked with TurtleSkin Armor. The armor will be deployed during forced cell moves to protect Correctional Officers from blunt trauma and stabbing threats from inmate fashioned knives or ice pick-type weapons.
Prior to the development of flexible TurtleSkin Corrections Armor, the only option that combined blunt trauma-, edged blade- and spike-resistance, were made with rigid steel plates. Seeking to replace the cumbersome steel plates with more flexible stab armor, senior staff from USP Lewisburg met with TurtleSkin armor engineers to collaborate on design and development of a new armor system that would increase the mobility, comfort and safety of emergency response staff.
According to John Cronin, who managed the effort for TurtleSkin, "The team at Lewisburg is made up of serious corrections professionals. These guys have an incredible amount of experience walking one of the toughest beats in law enforcement. We said to them ‘we’ve got this really flexible and highly protective material…what would you do with it?’" The meeting resulted in a rough design concept with goals to improve officer safety and comfort. After a series of prototype evaluations and design iterations the collaboration resulted in a vest designed specifically for integration with 5-officer cell extraction tactics and equipment.
The USP put 15 sets of the armor into service for a year-long evaluation. The success of the evaluation is reflected in the recent contract award which effectively phases out the old steel plate armor in-favor of the flexible TurtleSkin body armor for forced cell moves. The TurtleSkin Cell Extraction Armor is certified to National Institute of Justice standard 0115.00 at protection level 3 against both Spikes and Edged Blades.
The correctional armor features a front-opening, zip-up-style design so it can be thrown on quickly without assistance. Also, officers can stand-by with the front unzipped for maximum breath-ability while waiting for negotiations to wrap-up. Removable extended coverage panels for the throat, shoulders and groin expand protected areas, without limiting range of motion. The flexible tactical body armor is available is sizes S through 5XL and is adjustable to accommodate a broad range of body types.
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