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Body Armor Safety & Program Refinements From NIJ

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2017
3 pages
This paper describes the Compliance Testing Program (CTP) of the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for body armor, with attention to the needs of correctional officers for stab-resistant body armor, and it reports on the revisions underway of NIJ standards against which ballistic-resistant and stab-resistant body armor models are tested.
Draft documents of the standards are expected to be released for public comment during 2017. NIJ also recently introduced a program to add the NIJ Certification Mark to body armor models that have passed the CTP testing protocols. The draft NIJ Standard 0115.01 addresses protection against the types of knife and spike threats that corrections officers face daily, and it adds testing specific to female body armor models. There are two performance categories for stab/slash-resistant armor. One category is for commercially made weapons typically found by corrections officers in facility intake, public areas, and uncontrolled areas. The second category pertains to improvised or inmate-made weapons typically encountered inside controlled access areas of jails, detention centers, and prisons. Female armor will be tested to ensure that any stitching or forming of the bust cups continues to meet the same required level of protection afforded by unshaped armor.

Date Published: April 1, 2017