The Council of State Governments Justice Center issued a report on statewide initiatives in Connecticut, Ohio, and Utah for supporting local-level specialized policing responses for people with mental illnesses. Such responses are designed to help people in crisis connect to community-based treatment and support, when appropriate, instead of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
The report, “Statewide Law Enforcement/Mental Health Efforts: Strategies to Support and Sustain Local Initiatives” is a project supported by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. It looks at how states have developed structures and standards to make police encounters with people with mental illnesses safer for all involved and to produce better mental health and criminal justice system outcomes. Among issues addressed in the report are leadership, staffing, partnerships, agency recruitment, core elements of evidence-based mental health/law enforcement responses, and sustainability.