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Improving Police Response to Persons with Mental Illness: A Progressive Approach

NCJ Number
Thomas J. Jurkanin Ph.D., Larry T. Hoover Ph.D., Vladimir A. Sergevnin Ph.D.
Date Published
206 pages
This book presents expert contributions offering an “issue-oriented” discussion of current developments, trends, and emerging protocols to improve services provided by law enforcement to persons with mental illness.
In the real world, the cry for help is usually received by the police. Police respond because there is no one else to assist. Police officers rank mental health crisis situations as far more stressful than crimes in progress. A person suffering from mental illness is, by definition, not fully rational. In addition, their behavior is unpredictable, and for police unpredictable behavior is potentially dangerous behavior. As a consequence, outcomes of engagement between law enforcement and mental health consumers are too often tragic. This book is intended to provide best practice guidelines. A national pool of experts provide both insight and recommendations, ranging from the conceptual, “Atypical Situation-Atypical Responses,” to the pragmatic, “Law Enforcement Training Models.” Each chapter addresses a given critical component, including social policy, police response alternatives, training, legal constraints, and cooperative agreements with mental health service providers. This book is a critical volume on the subject of police and mental health and is designed for police practitioners, mental health professionals, and scholars of social policy. The origins of this book are traceable to two similar tragedies in the States of Illinois and Texas. In both instances the death during confrontation with the police and a person suffering from mental illness led to both administrative and legislative action. References