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Policing Mental Illness: Improving Law Enforcement Outcomes for the Mentally Ill

Gregory A. Wadsworth, University of New Haven

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

On November 3, 2018, 33-year-old Laudemer Arboleda was fatally shot by Danville Police Officer Andrew Hall following a slow-speed chase through the suburban neighborhood of Danville, California (Gecker, 2022). This incident occurred after a resident reported a suspicious person knocking on doors and loitering in a Danville cul-de-sac. Laudemer had a history of mental illness and had been hospitalized earlier that year. Officer Hall attempted to blockade Laudemer's car, which was reportedly traveling at only six miles per hour. However, when this proved unsuccessful, Officer Hall exited his vehicle and fired his weapon at Laudemer's car. Laudemer was struck nine times and pronounced dead at the scene. In 2022, Officer Andrew Hall was found guilty of assault with a firearm and sentenced to 6 years in prison.

Law enforcement has received heavy criticism in recent years for their role in the deaths of unarmed Black men, including Michael Brown, George Floyd, and Eric Garner. While the poor and unfair treatment of minorities by law enforcement should not be minimized, this wave of criticism has largely overshadowed law enforcement’s ineffective and harmful responses to their mentally ill citizens. The purpose of this policy brief is to help identify the current practices utilized by law enforcement in responding to the mentally ill, as well to provide a recommendation for law enforcement agencies seeking to improve their current approaches.


Defining and Policing Mental Illness

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), mental illnesses are behavioral or psychological disorders which reflect underlying psychological and biological dysfunction that may result from significant distress or disability (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health posits that one in five (22.8%), or 58 million Americans aged 18 and over, suffer from a mental illness (SAMHSA, 2023). Additionally, one in twenty (5.5%), or 14 million Americans, suffer from a serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder (SAMHSA, 2023)

According to a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics report, more than 53 million Americans, or 21% of those aged 16 and older, had contact with the police in 2020 (Tapp & Davis, 2022). Over half of all law enforcement interactions were initiated by citizens, while about 47% were initiated by law enforcement. Estimates suggest that as many as 20% of all law enforcement interactions are in response to mental health or substance abuse crises (Abramson, 2021). In New York City alone, Reuland (2005) notes that nearly every 6 minutes, the police are responding to mental health-related calls. Moreover, an unpublished survey of senior law enforcement by Biasotti (2011) found that 80% reported an increase in mental health-related calls for service during their careers.


The mentally ill may experience various outcomes from their contact with law enforcement. The vast majority of police interactions with the public end without an arrest (Tapp & Davis, 2022). There also exists the option for law enforcement to divert mentally ill offenders to available treatment (Campbell et al., 2017). There are, however, no easily available estimates as to how many offenders law enforcement diverts each year. According to Tapp and Davis (2022), less than 2% of all police contacts in 2020 resulted in arrest. However, those with mental illnesses are over-represented among those being incarcerated in the United States, with as many as 40% of U.S. prisoners having a diagnosed mental health disorder (Maruschak et al., 2021). Moreover, Draine and colleagues (2002) note that approximately half of those with a SMI will experience arrest during their lifetime. According to The Washington Post’s Fatal Force (2023) database, 1,096 law enforcement interactions in 2022, and 8,373 since 2015, ended in fatalities. Over one in five (21%) of all police-involved shootings tracked by The Washington Post occurred during ongoing mental health crises. In some jurisdictions, such as San Francisco, as many as 60% of citizens killed by law enforcement are mentally ill (Roth, 2020).


Pre-existing Policies


The outcomes experienced by the mentally ill, including their disproportionate rates of arrest, incarceration, and death (Draine et al., 2002; Roth, 2020), are largely dependent on the relevant training and available responses to law enforcement. This section will discuss the current policy and training practices utilized by law enforcement to improve and guide responses to the mentally ill. These include discussions on the current state of police academies in the United States; alternative training options, such as crisis intervention training and sequential intercept modeling; and alternative responses in the form of mobile response teams.


The Policing Academy 

The goal of the police academy is to provide law enforcement with the basic training and the tools and skills necessary to respond to all situations. As of 2018, there were 681 operational police academies in the United States, providing training to nearly 60,000 prospective officers (Buehler, 2021). This represented a substantial increase from the 664 academies and 45,000 yearly recruits in 2013 (Reaves, 2016). Police academies do not adhere to a uniform curriculum, but the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA) indicates that the average length of law enforcement training in the United States in 2018 was 833 hours (Buehler, 2021), which also increased significantly from the 761-hour average of 2006 (Reaves, 2009).

According to the 2018 CLETA, almost 275 hours of instruction are dedicated to basic operations, including patrol procedures and traffic accident response (Buehler, 2021). Nearly 175 hours are dedicated to weapons training and defensive tactics, with an average of 75 hours being solely dedicated to firearms training. On average, almost 90 hours are dedicated to legal education, nearly 70 hours on community policing, and 110 hours on self-improvement education. Finally, about 120 hours are dedicated to instruction on “special topics.” These include, on average, 15 hours of instruction on domestic violence responses, 25 hours on DUI/sobriety, and 16 hours on responding to the mentally ill.

Training on both mental illness and de-escalation are crucial for preparing law enforcement to respond to mental health crises. As of the current Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies, an average of 16 hours is dedicated to mental health and de-escalation training, respectively (Buehler, 2021). This was an increase from only 10 hours in 2013 (Reaves, 2016). De-escalation training enables law enforcement to approach situations in ways that avoid confusing, aggravating, and stressing the citizenry, and this training has been promoted by a recent report from the Council on Criminal Justice’s Task force on Policing (2021).


Improving Law Enforcement Responses 

One of the earliest concerted efforts to develop a uniquely tailored response to the mentally ill was the development of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). In 1988, facing public backlash following the fatal shooting of a schizophrenic man, the Memphis Police Department co-developed CIT with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (Roth, 2020). CIT training is voluntary and consists of 40 hours of yearly training that primarily focuses on improving officers’ understanding of mental illness, as well as their communication and de-escalation skills (Davidson, 2016). Additionally, CIT stresses diversion of the mentally ill to community-based treatment (Campbell et al., 2017). To date, CIT has been implemented in over 400 jurisdictions in the United States (Davidson, 2016) and has been regarded as the “gold standard” and a “best-practice” for improving law enforcement responses to the mentally ill (Campbell et al., 2017; Ghelani, 2022).

A more comprehensive approach to improving the treatment of the mentally ill within the criminal justice system is embodied by the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM). SIM is not a law enforcement-specific training, but rather a complex conceptual framework for identifying mentally ill individuals at various key points within the criminal justice system and diverting them to community-based treatment (Comartin et al. 2021). Similar to CIT, the SIM provides criminal justice actors in general, and law enforcement specifically, numerous opportunities to divert mentally ill offenders. The sequential intercept model provides law enforcement with two opportunities to divert mentally ill citizens: (1) at the point of contact, and (2) during booking and jailing (Comartin et al. 2021). While often paired with additional training, the SIM conceptual framework has been implemented in jurisdictions across the United States (Campbell et al., 2017; Comartin et al. 2021).


Mobile Crisis Response

In addition to improving law enforcement’s mental health training and response frameworks, there exist policy options that seek to improve law enforcement responses by developing partnerships with psychologists, social workers, and other mental health practitioners. Developed in 1987, Vancouver’s “Car 87” represents one of the earliest attempts to consistently incorporate mental health professionals into law enforcement responses (Ghelani, 2022). Patrol Car 87 consisted of a law enforcement officer and a registered psychiatric nurse who could be called to assist other law enforcement officers with de-escalating mental health crises. Alternatively, initiatives exist such as the Hamilton Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team (MCRRT), developed in 2013, which pairs law enforcement and trained mental health professionals, but deploys them as first responders to mental health-related calls (Fahim et al., 2016). Similarly designed mobile crisis intervention teams have also been developed in Quebec, Toronto, and Indianapolis (Ghelani, 2022).

Additional policy initiatives have built upon the aforementioned mobile crisis response teams by developing law enforcement-free responses. The earliest example is Eugene, Oregon’s Crisis Assistance Helping Out on The Streets (CAHOOTS), developed in 1989, which includes mobile response teams consisting solely of crisis intervention-trained social workers and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or nurses (Climer & Gicker, 2021). By removing law enforcement, CAHOOTS seeks to reduce citizen stress and the probability of escalation, but law enforcement officers are ready to assist CAHOOTS should de-escalation fail (Beck et al., 2020). A similar program, Denver’s Support Team Assisted Response (STAR), was implemented in 2020. Staffed with mental health workers, substance abuse counselors, and paramedics, STAR is prepared to respond to non-emergencies involving mental health and substance abuse crises, but also will provide disability assistance and welfare check-ins (Lunn, 2021). Similar programs to Eugene, Oregon’s CAHOOTS and Denver’s STAR have been developed in Oakland, California; Olympia, Washington; and Portland, Maine (Climer & Gicker, 2021).


Policy Options

It is clear that there are numerous options for improving responses to mentally ill citizenry available to law enforcement. Based on the available research, the advantages and disadvantages of the following available policy options will be outlined:

  • Option 1: Maintaining current police basic training practices (“Status Quo”).
  • Option 2: Increasing law enforcement training.
  • Option 3: Developing joint law enforcement-practitioner response teams.
  • Option 4: Developing practitioner-only response teams.
  • Option 5: A Multifaceted response involving increased training and developing additional response teams.


Policy Option 1

The first option available to law enforcement is to make no changes and maintain the current degree of mental health, de-escalation, and crisis intervention training provided by police academies.



·  No additional cost to law enforcement

·  Does not improve law enforcement’s readiness to respond to mental health crises

·  Maintains current police training structure

·  Does not improve current outcomes for mentally ill citizens

·  Provides academies with a high level of discretion to control training received by law enforcement



Policy Option 2

The second option available to law enforcement is to increase the availability of mental health, crisis intervention, and de-escalation instruction for law enforcement, whether it be required during the police academy or through additional training offered post-academy.



·  Improves law enforcement mental health knowledge and de-escalation skills

·  Additional cost to law enforcement for developing and incorporating additional training

·  Seeks to reduce fatal encounters between law enforcement and the mentally ill

·  May require increasing the duration of the police academy or diverting time from other forms of instruction

·  Provides departments with the discretion to decide whether to incorporate training during or post-academy

·  May require additional training for employed law employment during which time they will be unavailable for work


Policy Option 3

The third policy option is for law enforcement to develop specialized teams consisting of both law enforcement officers and crisis intervention trained mental health professionals, similar to Vancouver’s “Car 87’” or Hamilton’s Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team.



·  Provides a professional, practitioner-led response to mental health crises

·  The cost of hiring mental health professionals

·  Requires no additional training on the part of law enforcement

·  Reserves police personnel for responding to mental health crises

·  Discretion as to whether teams are reserved for initial or secondary responses

·  Diverts both monetary and personnel resources from other police functions

·  Maintains police presence during mental health crises



Policy Option 4

The fourth option available for law enforcement is to develop response teams consisting solely of crisis intervention trained, mental health professionals and EMTs, similar to that of Eugene, Oregon’s CAHOOTS, or Denver, Colorado’s STAR program.



·  Non-emergency mental health and substance abuse calls are diverted away from law enforcement

·  High cost of hiring and outfitting mobile crisis response teams

·  Provides trained medical responses to non-emergency mental health calls

·  Emergency mental health-related calls are still responded to by law enforcement

·  Requires no additional training for law enforcement

·  Provides no training to law enforcement on responding to mental health calls

·  Reserves all law enforcement personnel for emergency calls

·  Maintains no police presence in non-emergency situations which may escalate


Policy Option 5

The fifth and final policy option currently discussed is a multifaceted response that involves (1) increasing law enforcement mental health and de-escalation training as suggested in Option 2, and (2) developing practitioner-only response teams as suggested in Option 4.



·  Diverts non-emergency mental health and substance abuse-related calls away from law enforcement

·  Requires funding for law enforcement training and additional costs of hiring and outfitting mobile crisis response teams

·  Trained medical responses to non-emergency mental health calls

·  May require changes to the police academy to accommodate more mental health training

·  Prepares law enforcement to respond to non-diverted, emergency mental health calls

·  May require developing and incorporating training for already employed officers

·  Reserves law enforcement officers for responding to emergency calls




After considering the existing policies surrounding law enforcement responses to mentally ill citizenry, it is the recommendation of this policy brief that law enforcement agencies, who have not yet done so, implement improved mental health training for law enforcement and develop mental health practitioner-lead response teams (Option 5 in the previous section). As previously discussed, such an approach is expensive, as it requires increased spending on law enforcement training and employing new mental health and EMT-certified professionals. The advantages, however, to such an approach are that non-emergency mental health calls are diverted away from the police and resolved by well-trained mental health professionals, and law enforcement are still provided training to respond to mis-identified or non-diverted mental health calls.

As previously discussed, law enforcement receives relatively little mental health training during the academy (Buehler, 2021). This lack of training leaves law enforcement ill-prepared to respond to their frequent mental health-related calls (Abramson, 2021). Furthermore, another key consideration contributing to this recommendation is the supportive evidence suggesting CIT can improve law enforcement’s understanding of mental illness (Ellis, 2014; Davidson, 2016; Compton et al., 2014), but also the ineffectiveness of both CIT and sequential intercept modeling to affect officer use of force, offender arrest rates, and diversion outcomes (Taheri, 2016; Comartin et al., 2021). Geyer (2020), in a prior policy brief on fatal police shootings, recommended adopting significantly more hours of de-escalation training, with emphasis on improving cognitive reasoning and tactical responses. However, it is the opinion of this policy brief, informed by the literature surrounding such initiatives to improve de-escalation and officers’ understanding of mental illness, that such responses are insufficient to address the needs of mentally ill citizens.

Although programs such as CAHOOTS and STAR have received limited empirical attention, the emerging research is promising enough to warrant their recommendation. An evaluation of CAHOOTS by Beck and Colleagues (2020) found that in 2019 alone, CAHOOTS responded to over 24,000 calls, and only 311 (1.3%) required additional police assistance. Additionally, CAHOOTS operations coordinator Tim Black revealed in an interview with U.S. News that 17% of all calls for service in Eugene, Oregon, are resolved by CAHOOTS (Bach, 2020). An early evaluation of Denver’s STAR has provided similar encouraging findings, revealing that in its first year of operation, STAR responded to over 700 calls, corresponding to an average of nine calls per day and nearly 3% of the yearly 9-1-1 calls in Denver (Lunn, 2021). The positive results of early examinations of mobile response teams support their implementation alongside improved law enforcement training, which, when implemented alone, have been decisively ineffective.

While it is the position of this policy brief that law enforcement considers the implementation of both additional mental health training and mobile response teams to improve responses to mentally ill citizenry, it must be acknowledged that this current briefing is not an exhaustive review of policy options. Nor does this briefing outline all the necessary changes and costs associated with adopting a particular policy response. This briefing should serve only as a starting point for law enforcement stakeholders seeking to improve law enforcement responses to the mentally ill citizenry they are sworn to protect.


Annotated Bibliography

Abramson, A. (2021, May 26). Building mental health into emergency responses: More cities are pairing mental health professionals with police to better help people in crisis. Monitor on Psychology, 52(5).

Abramson (2021) is a short article that discusses the growing number of mental health-related 9-1-1 calls and the ways in which law enforcement are approaching this growing issue. Abramson provides a discussion of crisis intervention training, the development of joint law enforcement-mental health professional responses, and the overall impact of such approaches.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (5th ed.).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the taxonomy guide for classifying and diagnosis behavioral, psychological, and mental health disorders. Published by the American Psychiatric Association, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is currently in its fifth edition (DSM-V).

Bach, T. (2020, July 6). Eugene, Oregon’s 30-year experiment with reimagining public safety. U.S. News. from

Bach (2020) is a news article that presents an interview conducted by U.S. News with CAHOOTS operations coordinator Tim Black. The interview discusses many aspects of CAHOOTS, including the program’s reception, reach, and logistical operation, and the challenges to implementing CAHOOTS. Additionally, Black also discusses the various CAHOOTS-inspired programs and the possibility of CAHOOTS being a national model for law enforcement.

Beck, J., Reuland, M., & Pope, L. (2020). Case Study: Cahoots. Vera Institute of Justice. Retrieved from

Beck et al. (2020) represents one of the few evaluation-style examinations of the CAHOOTS program during its multiple decades of operation, conducted in-part by the Vera institution. The evaluation constitutes a program process evaluation and describes the program funding, operation and responses, training requirements, and collaboration with both law enforcement and community treatment providers.

Biasotti, M. C. (2011). Management of the severely mentally ill and its effects on homeland security. Retrieved from

Biasotti (2011) is a master’s thesis conducted by the then Chief of Police for the New Windsor Police Department in New York. Their thesis included a national survey of veteran law enforcement officials (n =2,406) that focuses on their experiences and attitudes toward the mentally ill. Their results show that law enforcement views the mentally ill as having become a significant drain on law enforcement resource due to the prevalence of mental health-related calls.

Buehler, E. D. (2021). State and local law enforcement training academies, 2018. Bureau of Justice Statistics (NCJ 255915).

Buehler (2021) analyzes the most recent wave of data collected as a part of the Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA). Similar to previous waves of the CLETA, data are collected on all operational training academies, and analysis reveals the average training received by law enforcement cadets, the modes of instruction, differences in cadet demographics, and training regimens of different types of police academies.

Campbell, J., Ahalt, C., Hager, R., & Arroyo, W. (2017). Building on mental health training for law enforcement: Strengthening community partnerships. International Journal of Prison Health, 13(3), 207-212.

Campbell et al. (2017) discuss law enforcement responses to the mentally ill, with a particular focus on crisis intervention team training in California. Additionally, the authors discuss the co-implementation of the sequential intercept model in California and emphasize the need for such responses to be developed alongside strong law enforcement-community partnerships.

Climer, B. A., & Gicker, B. (2021, January). CAHOOTS: A model for prehospital mental health crisis intervention. Psychiatric Times.

Both Climer and Gicker (2016) have worked as registered medical technicians with CAHOOTS and published a one-page article in Psychiatric Times that discusses the development and operation of CAHOOTS. The authors discuss the development of CAHOOTS in 1989, the makeup of CAHOOTS response teams, how CAHOOTS responds to calls for service, and the challenges to successful operation.

Comartin, E. B., Nelson, V., Smith, S., Kubiak, S. (2021). The criminal/legal experiences of individuals with mental illness along the sequential intercept model. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 48(1), 76-95.

Comartin et al. (2021) is an empirical assessment of the differences experienced by offenders identified and not identified under the sequential intercept model. Using a sample of 1,160 offenders from eight undisclosed counties, the authors found that individuals identified under the sequential intercept model experienced, on average, longer terms of incarceration, reduced treatment engagement, and lower diversion rates.

Compton, M. T., Bakeman, R., Broussard, B., Hankerson-Dyson, D., Husbands, L., Krishan, S., Stewart-Hutto, T., D’Orio, B., Oliva, J. R., Thompson, N. J., & Watson, A. C. (2014). The police-based crisis intervention team (CIT) model: I. Effects on officers’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Psychiatric Services, 65(4), 517-522.

Compton and colleagues (2014) conducted an empirical test of crisis intervention team (CIT) training’s ability to improve law enforcement’s mental health knowledge and attitudes utilizing a sample of 586 Georgia officers. They found that officers with CIT training consistently demonstrated higher levels of mental health knowledge and more positive attitudes toward the mentally compared to non-trained officers.

Council on Criminal Justice: Task Force on Policing. (2021). De-escalation policies and training. [Policy Assessment]. Council on Criminal Justice.

Published as a part of the Council on Criminal Justice’s Task Force on Policing, this 2021 policy assessment provides a summary of the current state of de-escalation training in the United States. The assessment finds that de-escalation training, when implemented properly, can cause noticeable reductions in law enforcement use of force, and recommends that de-escalation training occurs to the same thoroughness and extensiveness as use of force training.

Davidson, M. L. (2016). A criminal justice system-wide response to mental illness: Evaluating the effectiveness of the Memphis model crisis intervention team training curriculum among law enforcement and correctional officers. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 27(1), 46-75.

Davidson (2016) presents an examination of the Memphis-developed crisis intervention team training utilizing a sample of both law enforcement (n = 179) and correctional officers (n = 100) in Florida. All participants had their mental health knowledge, self-efficacy, and perceptions of verbal de-escalation measured before, immediately after, and six months post-crisis intervention training. They found significant improvements in all areas immediately post-crisis intervention training but found participants self-efficacy and perceptions of verbal de-escalation had returned to pre-training levels one month-post training.

Draine, J., Salzer, M. S., Culhane, D. P., & Hadley, T. R. (2002). Role of social disadvantage in crime, joblessness, and homelessness among persons with mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 53(5), 565-573.

Draine et al. (2002) provide a critical analysis of the intersection between serious mental illness and various forms of social disadvantage such as destitution, unemployment, and criminality. Beyond providing a detailed discussion of the prevalence of serious mental illness among criminal offenders, the authors also highlight the existence of a possible moderating effect of poverty of the relationship between mental illness and criminal offending.

Ellis, H. A. (2014). Effects of a crisis intervention team (CIT) training program upon police officers before and after crisis intervention team training. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 26, 10-16.

In their empirical examination of crisis intervention teams, Ellis (2014) compared mental health knowledge, perceptions, and attitudes before and after the completion of CIT for a sample of Miami-Dade County police officers. Their analysis reported significant positive improvements to officers’ understanding of mental illness, their perceptions and self-efficacy toward responding to mental health crises, and their attitudes towards the mentally ill.

Fahim, C., Semovski, V., & Yonger, J. (2016). The Hamilton mobile crisis rapid response team: A first-responder mental health service. Psychiatric Services, 67(8), 929.

Fahim et al. (2016) is a short, one-page, news article published in Psychiatric Services that highlights the development, implementation, and reception of the Hamilton Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team. Additionally, the authors present the findings of a survey that suggest that Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team members are more likely to resolve non-emergency calls without diverting citizens to emergency services compared to traditional law enforcement.

Fatal Force. (2023, April 10). The Washington Post. Retrieved from m/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/.

Fatal Force is a database compiled and maintained by The Washington Post to track police-involved shootings in the United Sates. The database has tracked fatal police-involved shootings since 2015, documenting over 8,000 events, and additionally tracks valuable information, such the deceased’s name, race, gender, and mental health status, and incident relevant information such as the incident location, whether a weapon was involved, and whether body camera footage is available.

Gecker, J. (2022, March 4). California police officer gets 6 years for shooting mentally ill man. PBS News Hour.

This news article discusses the 2018 fatal shooting of Laudemer Arboleda. Gecker (2022) highlights Laudemer’s history with mental illness, outlines the series of events that resulted in their death, and presented the final verdict for Officer Hall following a prolonged legal battle, which was a sentence of six years for assault with a firearm.

Geyer, P. (2020). Traveling at 1000 feet per second with unalterable consequences: How to decrease police officer-involved shootings. EBP Quarterly, 5(2).

Geyer (2020) presents a policy brief addressing the prevalence of police-involved shootings, particularly focusing on the shooting of unarmed, Black males. After reviewing existing de-escalation and general training policies, Geyer recommended drastic increases in de-escalation training, both during police academy and continuously during service. Specifically, Geyer argues that a minimum of 50% of the hours currently dedicated to firearm and weapons training be reserved for de-escalation and that post-academy de-escalation trainings occur twice per year.

Ghelani, A. (2022). Knowledge and skills for social workers on mobile crisis intervention teams. Clinical Social Work Journal, 50(4), 414-425.

In addition to providing a detailed review of the developmental history of mobile crisis intervention teams, Ghelani (2022) presents a crisis theory driven discussion of the role of social workers in mobile crisis responses. They highlight the role social workers play in risk assessment and de-escalation, linking citizens to community-based treatment, and establishing relationships with treatment providers.

Lunn, M. M. (2021, March 25). Alternative response to calls for service: Denver’s Support Team Assisted Response (STAR). [PowerPoint slides]. Bureau of Justice Assistance. U.S. Department of Justice. Events/COSSAP_Webinar_Alt_Response_to_Calls_for_Service.pdf.

Lunn (2021) is a PowerPoint presentation on behalf of the Denver Police that discusses the results of an in-house evaluation of Denver’s Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) program. In addition to outlining the evolution of Denver’s STAR program, the evaluation primarily discusses the overall productivity of Denver’s STAR and their plans for program expansion.

Maruschak, L. M., Bronson, J., & Alper, M. (2021). Indicators of mental health problems reported by prisoners: Survey of prison inmates, 2016. Bureau of Justice Statistics (NCJ 252643).

Maruschak and colleagues (2021) present their findings from the analysis of the 2016 Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Survey of Prison Inmates. Their analysis reveals the prevalence of mental health disorders in United States jails and prisons, the differences in the prevalence of mental illness by inmate demographics, and the rate of treatment utilization by inmates.

Reaves, B. A. (2009). State and local law enforcement training academies, 2006. Bureau of Justice Statistics (NCJ 222987).

Reaves (2009) presents the second wave of data collection for the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA). Their wave of data collection occurred in 2006 and included all 648 police training academies operational at the time. Primarily, their report focuses on the types of training received by recruits, the duration of training, instructional styles, and how training varies for different types of law enforcement.

Reaves, B. A. (2016). State and local law enforcement training academies, 2013. Bureau of Justice Statistics (NCJ 249784).

Reaves (2016) presents results from the third wave of data collection for the Census of Law Enforcement Training Academies (CLETA). The third wave of data collection occurred in 2013 and included data on all operational police academies. Similar to prior reports, Reaves discusses officer training both in terms of type and duration, instructional styles and modes, and differences in training between types of police academies.

Reuland, M. M. (2005). A guide to implementing police-based diversion programs for people with mental illness. Atlanta: National GAINS Technical Assistance and Policy Analysis Center for Jail Diversion.

Published in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Reuland (2005) is a multi-chapter report that discusses the struggles law enforcement face in responding to the mentally ill, various models of specialized responses to the mentally ill, as well as the challenges and benefits to implementing specialized responses.

Roth, A. (2020). Insane: America’s criminal treatment of mental illness. Basic Books.

Roth (2020) presents a modern exposé of the American criminal justice system’s treatment of the mentally ill. Their journalistic account includes detailed recounting of mentally ill individuals’ criminal justice journey, interviews with correctional and mental health staff, and discussions of the many modes of responding to and treating the mentally ill at all points of the criminal justice process.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2022). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. PEP22-07-01-005, NSDUH Series H-57). Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This report was produced jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI International). The current report presents the most recent findings from the ongoing National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) and presents data on the prevalence of alcohol and substance use, substance treatment participation, and mental health disorder prevalence and treatment utilization for United States residents aged 12 and over.

Taheri, S. A. (2016). Do crisis intervention teams reduce arrests and improve officer safety? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 27(1), 76–96.

Taheri (2016) conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on crisis intervention teams. Their review identified 22 full-text evaluations, of which only the nine quasi-experimental and experimental designs with comparable control groups were analyzed. Taheri’s meta-analysis found that crisis intervention teams had no effect on arrests of the mentally ill and did not improve officer safety.

Tapp, S. N., & Davis, E. J. (2022). Contact between police and the public, 2020. Bureau of Justice Statistics (NCJ 304527).

Tapp and Davis (2022) present data from the most recent iteration of the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Police-Public Contact survey (PPCS), which has occurred periodically since 1996. The PPCS is a supplemental survey existing alongside the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Data includes estimations of the number of U.S citizens, aged 16 and older, who experienced contact with law enforcement, differences in citizen-initiated and police-initiated contacts based upon race and gender, and differences in police outcomes.

Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash


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The EBP Quarterly - Volume 8, Number 3 Spring into action! This issue of the EBP Quarterly features three (3) in-d...