Law Enforcement Interactions With The Mentally Ill Community

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Law enforcement interactions with the mentally ill community are increasing, due to a number of factors such as cuts on long-term psychiatric beds, improvements in treatments and the philosophy of integration (Adelman, 2003). Which leads to mentally ill people living in the community, which leads to increase crisis and police interaction because of insufficient funding. Existing community-based crisis response services are not well unified and are limited, especially in rural areas. General hospital-based emergency services can also be difficult to access because of bed reductions, and only offer treatment to those only that are seriously ill (e.g. be actively delusional or suicidal). As Eric Macnaughton states in his study BC Early …show more content…

Formal options (hospitalization and arrest) may be time consuming for the officer as well as not be in the best interest for the person that is mentally ill whereas, sometimes officers are sometimes left unable to resolve the matter informally because of the inexperience and unfamiliarity with de-escalation techniques. Law enforcement officers are trained to assess the situation and take the best course of action to resolve the issues, especially when dealing with the mental health community the goal is that the situation can be resolves peacefully. However, recent interactions between law enforcement agencies and mentally ill suspects have had some disappointing results (Teplin, 2000).

Furthermore, there are a number of barriers that prevent police from effectively dealing with people who have a mental illness. These include gaps in the community mental health service, and mix feelings about the nature of the responsibility when officers are responding to mental illness calls (Adelman, 2003). Barriers that are involve is, the inadequate advance information, when a situation arise police dispatchers do not ask for more information of what to expect when arriving to the scene as well any specific detail about the mental ill person such as, if the person has previously contacted the police before. Not

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