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NCJ Number: 69884 Find in a Library
Title: Crisis Intervention in the Court Room - The Case of the Night Prosecutor
Journal: Community Mental Health Journal  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1979)  Pages:237-247
Author(s): J R P Fraser; J E Froelich
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: As cases seen in municipal courts and mental health centers' crisis departments are oftern identical; a model was developed that combines mental health and legal concepts and personnel to deal with such overlapping problems.
Abstract: Problems that on the one hand can be presented to therapy departments as marital conflict, grief and anger over lost relationships, or inability to set appropriate limits within a family, can on the other hand be presented as assault, telephone harassment, petty theft, or noise violation to the police. A melding of these functions has been achieved in the night prosecutor, citizen dispute settlement, or private complaint programs. One night prosecutor program in the city of Dayton, Ohio, has established two crisis therapists to handle complaints. The model involves achieving contact, boiling the problem down to the essentials, and coping creatively and actively with the problem as agreed on. The major thrust, as in crisis intervention, is to intervene rapidly and intensively using structured, goal-oriented tactics. The goal is to stabilize escalating, vicious cycles, and to implement minimal but significant changes that may serve to offset similar problems. This kind of model entails only minimal involvement with traditional mental health systems and with criminal justice systems both of which may be damaging. Primary prevention is mustered through the dispute settlement, and secondary prevention occurs for mental health officials who might not otherwise be aware of such cases. Finally, direct resolutions of problems are effected without lengthy court involvement. Case studies are presented, together with 18 references.
Index Term(s): Crisis intervention; Crisis management; Mental health services; Prosecutorial diversion
Note: Paper originally presented in an extended format at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers, Kansas City (KS), February 1978
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