Policing the Mentally Impaired: An Assessment of a Police-Mental Health Collaboration

Shamir Ratansi, University of Cincinnati
James Frank, University of Cincinnati
John E. Eck, University of Cincinnati

ABSTRACT
There contines to be heightened interest int he police handling of calls involving the mentally impaired. The mental health community and police agencies have suggested several strategies that are intended to improve the handling of these calls; namely, improve police recognition of mentally impaired individuals, improve their assessment of the available non-criminal justice dispositions, and ultimately reduce call-backs involving these individuals. The present study uses a number of data collection methodologies (official police reports, mental health records, surveys of participants) to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of a mobile crisis team collaboration in a Midwestern city. Findings address savings in terms of call-backs, officer and mental health workers' perceptions, and the perceptions of crisis team clients.

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Updated 05/20/2006