People with Mental Illnesses
Law Enforcement Responses to People with Mental Illnesses: A Guide to Research-Informed Policy and Practice, a Bureau of Justice Assistance-sponsored guide, examines studies on law enforcement interactions with people with mental illnesses and translates the findings to help policymakers and practitioners develop safe and effective interventions. Some specialized law enforcement strategies presented in the guide include improving officer safety; increasing access to mental health treatment, supports, and services; decreasing the frequency of these individuals’ encounters with the criminal justice system; and reducing certain costs incurred by law enforcement agencies. The research contained in the guide serves as a useful foundation for making data-informed decisions about policies and practices related to law enforcement encounters with people with mental illnesses. But, it is just that—a starting point. Each community still must conduct an analysis of its unique strengths and challenges. Once policymakers identify programmatic goals that specifically respond to the findings from this analysis, they can design, implement, or modify a program that best fits their community’s needs. To view the guide (NCJ 226965), access the National Criminal Justice Reference Service’s Web site, http://www.ncjrs.gov.