Laser heat weapon to break up fights in jail

August 24th, 2010 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 24 (IANS) A laser weapon that emits a punishing blast of hot air will be breaking up fights in US jails for the first time.

The weapon targets trouble-makers with a focused beam of heat to break up the fighting in moments.

Prison officials who have even tested the non-lethal weapon on themselves, aver it is excruciatingly painful, reports the Daily Mail.

Non-lethal weapons like “pain rays” and tasers are controversial. Human rights groups fear that they could even be fatal if used on vulnerable people.

The laser weapon is controlled by a joystick and computer monitor and emits a beam up to 100 feet. The wave penetrates the skin up to 1/64 of an inch. Targets duck out of the beam’s way to try and escape the pain.

“This device will allow us to quickly intervene without having to enter the area and without incapacitating or injuring either combatant,” said Sheriff Lee Baca.

Commander Bob Osborne, of the sheriff’s department technology exploration program, said: “I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air, except instead of being all over me, it’s more focused.”

The device will be mounted on the ceiling at Pitchess Detention Center at Los Angeles County Jail, which houses around 65 prisoners.

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