Don’t Let Shock-Dispensing Handcuffs Become A Reality

Target: David Kappos, Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Goal: Don’t allow the commercial production of handcuffs that deliver shocks and medication to prisoners

Historically, police have used handcuffs as a safe, nonviolent method of restraining dangerous criminals. But a new handcuff prototype designed by an Arizona firm would change the role of the longstanding law enforcement tool by administering electric shocks and even doses of medication. This nightmarish variation on handcuffs could all too easily be used to threaten or torture suspects and must be stopped before it reaches production on a commercial scale.

The inventors of the shocking handcuffs are seeking a patent in order to begin producing and selling the device to police departments and prisons. Although they look much like normal handcuffs, these special restraints would allow prison guards or police officers to administer shocks to a suspect or prisoner remotely. The cuffs could also be used to shock prisoners automatically when they move outside of a designated physical boundary.

Perhaps even more horrifyingly, the same handcuffs are also designed to deliver transdermal medications or sedatives. At the touch of a button, a prison guard or police officer could unleash powerful drugs into the bodies of criminals. While in some cases medicating prisoners may be necessary, such an act should only be undertaken by a licensed physician–not a guard with the remote control to a pair of high-tech handcuffs.

Handcuffs should be used to passively restrain criminals, not to torture or drug them. The potential for abuse with these handcuffs is far too high for them to be permitted on the commercial market. Urge the director of the U.S. Patent Office to stop the production of these handcuffs in its tracks.


Dear David Kappos,

The U.S. Patent Office should reward inventors whose ideas benefit society–not those who introduce weapons of torture and abuse to American prisons. A currently pending patent would allow the production of a pair of handcuffs designed to dispense electric shocks and doses of medication to prisoners and suspects.

With these handcuffs, prison guards and police officers could drug or shock criminals at the touch of a button. Transdermal sedatives and other medications could be applied almost automatically. Such a device has an unbelievably high potential for abuse and has no place in the United States prison system or police departments.

I urge you to stop the production of this terrifying device before it even begins. Don’t allow these terrifying handcuffs to become a reality in the United States.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office

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