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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
Title 49: Transportation
§1544.221 Carriage of prisoners under the control of armed law enforcement officers.
(a) This section applies as follows:
(1) This section applies to the transport of prisoners under the escort of an armed law enforcement officer.
(2) This section does not apply to the carriage of passengers under voluntary protective escort.
(3) This section does not apply to the escort of non-violent detainees of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. This section does not apply to individuals who may be traveling with a prisoner and armed escort, such as the family of a deportee who is under armed escort.
(b) For the purpose of this section:
(1) “High risk prisoner” means a prisoner who is an exceptional escape risk, as determined by the law enforcement agency, and charged with, or convicted of, a violent crime.
(2) “Low risk prisoner” means any prisoner who has not been designated as “high risk.”
(c) No aircraft operator may carry a prisoner in the custody of an armed law enforcement officer aboard an aircraft for which screening is required unless, in addition to the requirements in §1544.219, the following requirements are met:
(1) The agency responsible for control of the prisoner has determined whether the prisoner is considered a high risk or a low risk.
(2) Unless otherwise authorized by TSA, no more than one high risk prisoner may be carried on the aircraft.
(d) No aircraft operator may carry a prisoner in the custody of an armed law enforcement officer aboard an aircraft for which screening is required unless the following staffing requirements are met:
(1) A minimum of one armed law enforcement officer must control a low risk prisoner on a flight that is scheduled for 4 hours or less. One armed law enforcement officer may control no more than two low risk prisoners.
(2) A minimum of two armed law enforcement officers must control a low risk prisoner on a flight that is scheduled for more than 4 hours. Two armed law enforcement officers may control no more than two low risk prisoners.
(3) For high-risk prisoners:
(i) For one high-risk prisoner on a flight: A minimum of two armed law enforcement officers must control a high risk prisoner. No other prisoners may be under the control of those two armed law enforcement officers.
(ii) If TSA has authorized more than one high-risk prisoner to be on the flight under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, a minimum of one armed law enforcement officer for each prisoner and one additional armed law enforcement officer must control the prisoners. No other prisoners may be under the control of those armed law enforcement officers.
(e) An armed law enforcement officer who is escorting a prisoner—
(1) Must notify the aircraft operator at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure, or, if that is not possible as far in advance as possible of the following—
(i) The identity of the prisoner to be carried and the flight on which it is proposed to carry the prisoner; and
(ii) Whether or not the prisoner is considered to be a high risk or a low risk.
(2) Must arrive at the check-in counter at least 1 hour before to the scheduled departure.
(3) Must assure the aircraft operator, before departure, that each prisoner under the control of the officer(s) has been searched and does not have on or about his or her person or property anything that can be used as a weapon.
(4) Must be seated between the prisoner and any aisle.
(5) Must accompany the prisoner at all times, and keep the prisoner under control while aboard the aircraft.
(f) No aircraft operator may carry a prisoner in the custody of an armed law enforcement officer aboard an aircraft unless the following are met:
(1) When practicable, the prisoner must be boarded before any other boarding passengers and deplaned after all other deplaning passengers.
(2) The prisoner must be seated in a seat that is neither located in any passenger lounge area nor located next to or directly across from any exit and, when practicable, the aircraft operator should seat the prisoner in the rearmost seat of the passenger cabin.
(g) Each armed law enforcement officer escorting a prisoner and each aircraft operator must ensure that the prisoner is restrained from full use of his or her hands by an appropriate device that provides for minimum movement of the prisoner's hands, and must ensure that leg irons are not used.
(h) No aircraft operator may provide a prisoner under the control of a law enforcement officer—
(1) With food or beverage or metal eating utensils unless authorized to do so by the armed law enforcement officer.
(2) With any alcoholic beverage.