Assaults on Michigan corrections officers have fallen since some began carrying Tasers 1½ years ago, but critics question whether the electronic stun guns are being misused, reports the Lansing State Journal. The number of officers assaulted on the job dipped 16 percent, from 688 in 2010 to 579 last year. Corrections and union officials say the drop is partly due to a major expansion of Taser use in prisons last year.
Taser use began on a pilot basis at five prisons in December 2011 and was expanded to all prisons last year, except the state medical facility housing mentally ill people. Tasers are an important nonlethal option for corrections officers, who traditionally do not carry guns to prevent them from falling into inmates' hands, corrections officials said. But inmates advocates question whether guards could abuse or overuse Tasers as a disciplinary tool.