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Developing the Next Generation Stab-Resistant Body Armor Standard

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2015
5 pages
This article discusses the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) development of an update to the 2000 NIJ standard for stab-resistant body-armor.

The revised standard, which is currently in draft under the working title of "Stab and Slash Resistance of Personal Body Armor, NIJ Standard 0115.01," specifies minimum requirements for stab- and slash-resistant torso armor. It includes testing specific to armor designated as female armor. The draft standard addresses body armor panels that are intended to provide protection against stab (knife and spike) and slash threats. The standard intends to address threats to correctional officers from inmate improvised, handmade stab and slash weapons, as well as commercially made knives and spikes. The draft standard will provide two performance categories for stab/slash-resistant armor based on mission requirements and threats anticipated within the operational environments. In order to assess the types of threats faced by corrections officers, corrections agencies provided about 1,500 weapons collected from inmates. They were assessed for composition, hardness, sharpness, and other criteria. This assessment is being used to develop exemplars to use for testing in the development of the standard. The new standard is expected to result in the development and manufacture of protective armor for correctional officers that will be more applicable to the threats they are facing from inmate stab/slash weapons. Also armor models will be designed to accommodate the female physique under additional testing that will ensure adequate protection for female corrections officers. Details are provided on the standard-development process.

Date Published: June 1, 2015