Training Bulletin: Juveniles and Unarmed Escorts in Air Travel

On occasion, ICJ member states will use unarmed escorts to accompany juveniles in air travel. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Code of Federal Regulations only addresses the “carriage of prisoners under the control of armed law enforcement officers.” See, CFR §1544.221.

The Prisoner Transport Division of TSA confirms there are no federal regulations that govern unarmed escorts, but that each airline has their own policy in place regarding escorted travel. Due to the frequency in which these policies change, the Prisoner Transport Division recommends ICJ member states contact the airline prior to booking travel for juveniles who will be accompanied to determine if their policy allows unarmed escorts.

As a cautionary note, regardless of an airline’s policies, a flight’s aircrew has the ability to refuse the boarding of any passenger, including escorts and their detainees. It is best to verify an airline’s restrictions for escorts, to avoid any interruption in travel, as well as remember that juveniles should not be placed in restraints upon arrival at the airport.   


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