Police Perceptions And Programs Like Crisis Intervention Teams

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Police officers usually are the first people to respond to mental health emergencies. This means that police officers have the most discretion when deciding what to do with mentally ill individuals who commit crimes. Mentally ill individuals are more likely to be arrested regardless of severeness or type of crime, then any other population. There have been several cases that suggest that police use of force with mentally ill individuals is different. This field of study is relatively new and there are few studies that examine use of force with the mentally ill. But, there are several pieces of evidence like police perceptions and programs like Crisis Intervention Teams that deal with the major concerns with police using excessive force…show more content…
Some of these factors can result in increased violence when police attempt to make an arrest.
In an effort to address concerns about police encounters with mentally ill individuals, programs like Crisis Intervention Teams were created. This program attempts to teach police officers how to effectively deal with situations with mentally ill individuals. This program also helps officers recognize signs and symptoms of mentally ill individuals so that their behaviors are not mistaken for deviant behaviors. When officers are able to distinguished mentally ill behaviors from deviant behaviors, they are able to refer mentally ill individuals to the appropriate place and take the most appropriate action. There are several concerns with CIT but also some positive aspects of this program. Use of force with mentally individuals has always been a great concern and it is very difficult to understand why this may occur. Conducting research within this area can help create an understanding if police officers are using excessive force with mentally ill individuals, why this occurs and if this behavior can be prevented. Literature Review
Prevalence of mentally ill in criminal justice system
Mentally ill persons within the criminal justice system are a very common occurrence. There are three to four times more mentally ill persons in the state prisons and jails then in the general population (Osher, 2005, pp.
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