Crisis Intervention Teams and Police Shootings of People with Mental illness: A Public Health Issue
James F. Anderson, Ph.D; Tazinski P. Lee, Ph.D; Kelley Reinsmith-Jones, Ph.D; Adam H. Langsam, Ph.D

Nationwide, there has been a reported increase in the number of police shootings involving people with mental illness to the extent that it has been labeled a public health problem. Recently, mental health experts have reported that there has-been a substantial increase in cases of Americans who suffer from poor mental health. Criminal justice experts, especially law enforcement officers at the front end of the justice intake process believe that the increased presence of poor mental health is likely to manifest in potentially dangerous situations when police officers initially encounter people suffering from poor mental health. If police officers are not properly trained to recognize and respond with appropriate behavior, some of these encounters could prove fatal. The use of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is referred to as the gold standard when it comes to assisting the mentally ill, yet their effectiveness has not definitively been established. Experts offer mixed results regarding whether they should be adopted nationally. After examining the impact of CITs, we argue that they bring more positive than negative outcomes to policing. Therefore, they should be adopted by every police department.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jlcj.v10n1a5