timberland outlet store uk City jails ban boots and Nike shoes that inmates use to make weapons
Some Nike athletic shoes and all work boots are being banned from Baltimore’s jail complex because inmates were found to be fashioning weapons from the shoes’ steel and plastic parts.
LaMont W. Flanagan, state commissioner of Pretrial Detention and Services, said correctional officers discovered about a month ago that inmates were cutting open the footwear and removing the parts to sharpen them for weapons.
Although Flanagan said the makeshift knives have not been used in any attacks at the jail complex, searches for contraband have turned up weapons made from the steel and plastic parts.
He said yesterday that the staff has confiscated some of the shoes but did not know how many pairs.
“Any opportunity an inmate has to acquire a weapon concerns us a great deal,” Flanagan said. “They are here 24 7. They are very creative, and their creativity meets their needs and one of those needs is violence to solve their problems.”
The commissioner signed an order Friday banning certain types of Nike shoes and work and outdoor boots from the Baltimore City Detention Center and the Central Booking and Intake Center, which make up the jail complex his agency oversees.
All the shoes the Nikes and the boots contain a 5 inch long piece of steel that is a half inch wide, either in the sole or around the heel, Flanagan and shoe manufacturers said.
Those parts can be sharpened on the jail’s concrete floors, the commissioner said.
The Nike products in question are three types of cross training shoes that carry the name of basketball great Michael Jordan the Jordan Trunner LX, the Jordan Trunner 2000 Mid and the Jordan Trunner Bubble, Flanagan said.
A plastic shell that cups the top of the Nike shoes’ laces also poses a security risk, Flanagan said, because it is can be used to cut someone without being sharpened. Sharpened, he said, the plastic can become as sharp as a razorblade.
Banned shoes will be confiscated, and inmates will be given temporary footwear, such as foam slippers, until someone can bring a replacement, the commissioner said.
Flanagan plans to display examples of the banned footwear in the jail visitors’ room to notify friends and relatives who might bring them to inmates.
“Once you purchase the shoes, [some] stores won’t take them back, and we want to avoid any unnecessary expenditures on the part of the inmates’ families,” he said.
Most boots, including the popular Timberland brand, contain the metal shank in the soles to increase stability, according to one manufacturer.
The Jordan Trunner LX and the Jordan Trunner 2000 Mid contain heel clips, metal strips that fit around the heel and ankle to improve fit, said Vada O. Manager, director of global issue management for Nike USA Inc.