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NCJ Number: NCJ 224332   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Improving Responses to People With Mental Illnesses: Strategies for Effective Law Enforcement Training
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Melissa Reuland ; Matt Schwarzfeld
Corporate Author: Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
United States of America

Council of State Governments Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 58
  Annotation: This training resource guide synthesizes the key lessons learned by several jurisdictions that have developed training for police officers in managing people with mental illnesses.
Abstract: Part One of the guide addresses strategies for recruiting, selecting, and preparing effective trainers. Effective strategies described for recruiting and selecting trainers are the development of in-house expertise in teaching law enforcement topics; working with partners in identifying trainers outside the law enforcement agency; and coordinating training sessions with other area law enforcement agencies, resulting in the sharing of trainers and reduction in overhead costs. In selecting trainers, the guide advises that they should have an appreciation for the specialized response goals, positive attitudes toward law enforcement, and experience with people with mental illnesses involved with the criminal justice system. Trainers should also have skills in making programmatic decisions and providing feedback. Regarding the preparation of trainers, one chapter in Part One discusses approaches for teaching content on mental illness that address the unique needs of law enforcement personnel and are sensitive to the characteristics of the policing subculture. Part Two of the guide contains two chapters on effective training techniques. One chapter provides guidance on how to use role-play exercises effectively, including helping officers to master essential de-escalation techniques. A second chapter illustrates how less traditional law enforcement training options can help officers appreciate both the difficulties faced by people with mental illnesses and their family members, as well as the way mental health treatments and supports are provided in their communities. Each of the chapters in both parts of the guide list challenges that jurisdictions have faced in implementing a training initiative, followed by recommendations for and discussions of how they can be addressed. Appended list of Advisory Board members, suggested training topics, and a curriculum resource list
Main Term(s): Police specialized training
Index Term(s): Instructor selection ; Mentally ill offenders ; Persons with cognitive disabilities ; Police personnel selection ; Police staff recruitment
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Assistance
US Dept of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 2005-MU-BX-K208
Sale Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Technical Assistance
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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