Feeds

Inmate-frying microwave pain blaster turret installed in US jail

'They just go "Yow",' enthuses raygun sheriff

High performance access to file storage

A microwave "pain ray" energy weapon, deemed too controversial for US military use in Iraq, has nonetheless gone into service. A trial installation is in use at a prison in Los Angeles for the purpose of quelling fights among the inmates.

"We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam," Commander Bob Osborne of the LA County Sheriff's Department told the Los Angeles Daily News.

"I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air... you begin to feel this warming feeling, and then you go 'Yow, I need to get out of the way.'"

In its current incarnation the device is known as the Assault Intervention Device and it is reportedly a ceiling-mounted installation remotely controlled by prison staff using CCTV and a joystick. The Device is said to put out a beam "about the size of a CD" to distances of up to 100 feet, hopefully quelling any disturbance among the prisoners without the delay which results when a team of deputies must be assembled to use traditional whomping or other conventional enforcement methods.

Despite the new name and job, however, the Device is none other than the latest iteration of what was formerly known as the Active Denial System, a riot-busting fry-ray mounted on a Humvee or a truck for military use in crowd control overseas. Despite many requests for it from US commanders in Iraq, the ADS never saw frontline service there - doubtless due to well-founded concern over the headlines that might have ensued. The "pain ray" would surely have resulted in more negative coverage than any number of shootings and bombings.

The deployment in the Los Angeles jail is a trial by the National Institute of Justice, the R&D arm of the US Justice Department - and home, among other things, of the handheld microwave heat-ray "rifle".

If deemed successful, the inmate-roasting ceiling raygun turrets may be rolled out to other US jails.

The Daily News report is here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.