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Early intervention systems for police: a state-of-the-art review

Christi L. Gullion (Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas, USA)
William R. King (Department of Criminal Justice, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho, USA)

Policing: An International Journal

ISSN: 1363-951X

Article publication date: 10 July 2020

Issue publication date: 8 August 2020




The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive literature review of prior empirical studies that have examined early intervention (EI) systems or programs in policing.


A systematic literature search of various government and academic databases (e.g. Emerald, Google Scholar, National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS), Sage, Taylor & Francis and Wiley) was conducted.


This systematic review identified eight EI studies that matched the selection criteria. Of these, two are multiagency studies and six are individual agency studies. Findings across studies are generally positive but overall relatively inconsistent with regard to EI systems' effectiveness.

Practical implications

Police agencies benefit in identifying and addressing at-risk officers to ensure police accountability and officer safety, health and wellness. This research is invaluable for optimizing how EI systems can use agency data for such predictions.


This state-of-the-art review on EI systems in policing is the first of its kind. EI systems have been implemented by many police agencies, yet a limited number of empirical studies have been conducted. This systematic review will be useful for researchers who wish to further explore how EI systems are utilized and whether EI systems are successful/effective.



Gullion, C.L. and King, W.R. (2020), "Early intervention systems for police: a state-of-the-art review", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 643-658.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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