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NCJ Number: 166508 Find in a Library
Title: Police Response to the Dangerous Mentally Ill
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:63  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1996)  Pages:99-106
Author(s): W J DeCuir Jr; H R Lamb
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 8
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes California's handling of the law enforcement officer's role in dealing with mentally ill persons.
Abstract: Under California's old commitment law, a peace officer confronted with a mentally ill person was responsible to take the person into custody for delivery to a hospital for three days of evaluation followed by a commitment hearing. A committed person went to a state hospital without any question as to whether there was room. The ongoing treatment of seriously mentally ill persons was entirely the State's responsibility, while county mental health departments treated those who were not psychotic. Under the current law, a peace officer or designated mental health professional decides when there is probable cause to take a mentally ill person into custody and transport that person to a psychiatric facility. To deal with these problems, the Los Angeles Police Department working with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health developed the Systemwide Mental Assessment Response Team (SMART). This approach has reduced the number of mentally ill persons inappropriately placed in the criminal justice system and has helped maximize the use of mental health resources.
Main Term(s): Police
Index Term(s): California; Civil commitment; Criminology; Emotionally disturbed persons; Interagency cooperation; Medical evaluation; Mental health services; Mentally ill offenders; Police policies and procedures; Police-social worker cooperation; Psychologists role in corrections
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