CARSON CITY, Nev. — The new director of Nevada’s prison system says he’s ending the use of birdshot behind bars.
Nevada Department of Corrections Director James Dzurenda said Tuesday that prison guards will use less-lethal options such as rubber bullets when fights erupt.
The move comes after a 2014 shooting in High Desert State Prison that left a 28-year-old inmate dead. An outside group that reviewed Nevada’s use-of-force practices recommended last fall that the state move away from shotguns and try to defuse violent situations in other ways.
Corrections officials said birdshot was introduced in Nevada prisons in the early 1980s. The tiny shotgun pellets are used in very few prisons nowadays because of technological advances in weapons such as stun guns and pepper spray.
Dzurenda said Gov. Brian Sandoval fully supports the decision.