Statewide Law Enforcement / Mental Health Efforts: Strategies to Support and Sustain Local Initiatives
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, 2012
This publication is one in a series that was developed by the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, in partnership with Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), to address how law enforcement responds to people with mental illnesses. Specialized Policing Responses (SPR) to people with mental illnesses, which prioritize treatment over incarceration when appropriate, are planned and implemented in partnership with community service providers and citizens. The two most prevalent SPR approaches are Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) and police-mental health co-responder teams. Coordinating SPR efforts statewide can facilitate regional pooling of resources, which helps ensure that smaller or rural agencies can implement this type of program, and has the potential to significantly increase the number and quality of SPR programs in the United States. This paper describes how statewide coordination efforts are structured in Connecticut, Ohio, and Utah and synthesizes their successes and challenges in coordinating this work. Program examples from five other states with established initiatives are included.