Our products have proven themselves in the field by withstanding severe car crashes and rollovers.
Outfitting a van to handle prisoner transport is a great investment. Not only can you move up to 12 people at a time, but you can also use the van to patrol or to move big items like barricades, cones, bikes, or large evidence. It becomes part of your daily on-street fleet.
Click on any of the below for more information on prisoner van transports, or review the Havis Guide to Selecting a Prisoner Transport.
- What Van Do I Need?
- Versatile Compartments
- Specify "Slam Locks"
- Side/Rear Step Options
- Materials & Finish
- Cleanliness Matters
- Emergency Exits
- Easy Installation
- Video Camera Options
- Safe Seating
- Compartment Ventilation
- Transferable Inserts
What Van Do I Need?
Havis prisoner transport inserts are designed for installation in a standard cargo van. We recommend buying the heaviest gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) possible. Vans with a 1 ton rating work best. Vans with a 3/4 ton rating also work well depending on the type of daily usage. Havis can provide you with a specification to identify the proper van for your purpose.
Make sure your vendor offers a wide range of compartment sizes and configurations. For instance, Havis compartments come in 80", 100" and 120" lengths with one, two and three compartment configurations.
You can also boost your van's usefulness by choosing an interior layout that offers enough space to transport your equipment. Cross-purposing your van really stretches your investment dollar.
Specify "Slam Locks"
When moving prisoners, "quick and simple" is the way to go. Havis offers the dual, heavy-duty "slam lock" on its transport doors. They work just like they sound. All you have to do is slam the door shut. The lock automatically engages and secures the compartment. Havis has been using the dual slam-latch system since 2004 with excellent results.
Side/Rear Step Options
Getting detainees safely in and out of the van is important. Our prisoner transport systems come standard with a 10" x 48" rear step, as well as a 10" x 30" side slide-out step for inserts with side compartments. We also offer an optional flip-down, second step to add to the standard rear step. It is very helpful when transporting prisoners in leg shackles.
Materials & Finish
Prisoner transport inserts must combine strength, durability and lighter weight in order to achieve minimum stress on the van chassis. Avoid extra heavy materials (e.g. steel) which, when combined with the weight of the people being transported, could cause the vehicle to exceed its gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Exceeding GVWR stresses your van's brakes and lowers gas mileage. Also, select an insert with a powder coat finish, which allows for thorough cleaning. Unfinished aluminum will absorb dirt and fluids and painted steel is prone to rust.
Havis prisoner transport inserts are fabricated primarily from 1/8" (.125") aluminum sheets that have a formed channel framework and are welded at critical joints. Plus, Havis uses a white powder coat finish to protect your insert and enable it to be thoroughly and easily cleaned.
You want an insert that is easily disinfected and washed out. When properly installed, our insert's compartment seams are sealed so water and debris generated during cleaning cannot hide and turn foul without you knowing its source. With a Havis prisoner transport insert, you can use a standard bleach and water solution to disinfect. Cleanliness made easy.
If you do find yourself in an emergency situation, you need to be able to remove your prisoners fast. Federal motor vehicle requirements state that the mandatory escape hatches need to open with ease.
The Havis prisoner transports provide you with emergency exit hatches for every compartment that have:
- Quick-release slide bolts
- Gasket seal
- Perforated center section for viewing prisoners
- Clear Lexan polycarbonate cover over the perforated view section to protect officers
- Sealed edges to prevent the penetration of fluids
- Minimized rattling for quieter driving
You have two installation options. If you have your own install facility, you can do it yourself with our step-by-step instructions. Or, Havis has resellers around the country that can do the installation for you.
Havis prisoner transport inserts ship to you fully assembled. We find this assures all parts are included in your order and that they all fit together. Also, you get to see the insert fully assembled, so you know what it will look like when installed. (Some parts will need to be unassembled and reassembled for installation.)
It takes anywhere from 10 hours to 26 hours to complete an installation, plus time for any optional equipment. It all depends on the size and design of the insert and the options you have chosen. Rest assured that Havis offers technical support in case you need assistance.
Video Camera Options
Depending on your need, you may want to install video camera(s) in the compartments. If so, you'll need a fully equipped viewing and video recording solution. Havis can provide up to 4 cameras, including one mounted on the rear exterior roof to monitor your access doors and provide a "safety" view when backing up. The video system comes with a cab-mounted monitor offering a quad view and an optional mobile digital video recorder. Make sure you get a robust mounting solution for these key components (a Havis specialty).
While keeping officers safe is of paramount importance, you will want to keep your detainees safe during transport. As you evaluate your seating options in prisoner transport, keep in mind the following guidelines:
- Go with a bench seat that has a rubberized, non-slip strip of material on it. This helps riders stay seated. Avoid "sandpaper" non-slip material as it can scrape knuckles and hands during transport.
- Choose side-facing benches with grab straps located at each seat location. These can be grabbed by prisoners during transport when handcuffed behind the back.
- Avoid seat padding -- it can be easily damaged, which adds to maintenance and replacement costs. Plus, permanently mounted pads create more locations for hiding contraband and are very difficult to keep clean.
- Consider installing Havis' optional small dividers made of the same material as the body of the compartment, which are installed every 18" to 20" on the bench seat. They give prisoners something to brace against during transport and also help keep them "in their own seats" during transport. Havis is unique in making these available.
We offer optional electric ventilation fans which help increase airflow. The optional fans draw air through the compartment, creating a positive air flow. This will prevent foul odors from building up in the vehicle.
We do not recommend systems that blow air from the driver's compartment into the rear compartments. This method has proven to be inadequate and, for a few extra dollars, you can get a system that does the job without making the driver uncomfortable.
A well-built transport insert will last much longer than a vehicle will. After the useful life of the van has passed, you want to be able to move the prisoner transport to a new vehicle. Since Havis inserts are bolted, not welded, into your van, this is not a problem. Just contact us to confirm product compatibility with your new van.