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How to train to survive a shank attack

One of the most dangerous and feared homemade weapons in corrections is the shank or shiv; here’s how to defend against an attack


Correctional officers can be attacked by inmates using a variety of weapons.

Improvised weapons consist of weapons of opportunity (any item lying around) that are used to strike, swing or throw at staff, or weapons manufactured by an inmate for the sole purpose of injuring or killing.

One of the most dangerous and feared is the “shank” or “shiv,” typically defined as any homemade prison knife.

Prison shanks are generally made to puncture versus slice skin. A puncture wound is a more effective and efficient killing mechanism than slicing. Plus inmates can more easily fashion a point on most items that, with enough force, can penetrate the human body.

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