Monograph: 'Police Interventions with Persons Affected by Mental Illnesses'

58 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2011  

Jennifer Wood

Temple University

Jeffrey W. Swanson

Duke University - Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Scott Burris

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law

Allison G. Robertson

Duke University - Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Date Written: March 9, 2011

Abstract

Mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders constitute a global public health problem of enormous proportions. Developing and implementing cost-effective interventions to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses and comorbid substance abuse disorders remains a challenge for multiple, interfacing service systems, from public health to social welfare to law enforcement, the courts, and corrections.

This monograph illuminates one key component of these systems, policing, highlighting the role of police officers as front-line workers in the community. We examine trends in thinking and practice and common challenges surrounding policing and mental illnesses internationally. We suggest that police organizations (and their community and research partners) should not be uncritically accepting of existing intervention models without first engaging in a ‘Problem-Oriented Policing’ approach, designed so that available resources inter-lock to address the problems identified in particular geographical areas. We also examine challenges associated with implementing these steps, such as the need for police, health practitioners, and academic partners to collaborate in developing better and more integrated data collection systems to track health-related outcomes. Such extensive analysis, we argue, is fundamental to the development of tailored police interventions for persons affected by mental illnesses.

Keywords: violence, civil commitment, comparative law, schizophrenia

Suggested Citation

Wood, Jennifer and Swanson, Jeffrey W. and Burris, Scott and Robertson , Allison G., Monograph: 'Police Interventions with Persons Affected by Mental Illnesses' (March 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1781909 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1781909

Jennifer Wood

Temple University ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Jeffrey W. Swanson

Duke University - Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences ( email )

Durham, NC 27715
United States

Scott C. Burris (Contact Author)

Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law ( email )

1719 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-6576 (Phone)
215-204-1185 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phlr.org

Allison G. Robertson

Duke University - Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences ( email )

8 Searle Center Drive
Durham, NC 27710
United States

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