The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a police department's Post-Crisis Assistance Program (PCAP) for consumers who experienced a police-abated mental health crisis. The authors analyzed three questions: First, does PCAP reduce a consumer's future mental health calls for service (CFS)? Second, does PCAP reduce a consumer's odds of being arrested? Third, does PCAP reduce the odds of a consumer being taken into emergency protective custody (EPC)?
The authors use propensity score matching to analyze data from a sample of individuals (n=739) who experienced a police-abated mental health crisis.
The authors find that PCAP consumers generated fewer mental health CFS, were less likely to be arrested, and were less likely to be taken into EPC than non-PCAP consumers six months following a police-abated mental health crisis.
The research only examined outcomes six months after a mental health crisis. The authors encourage future research to examine whether the benefits of PCAP persist over longer periods of time.
The study demonstrates that partnerships between police departments and local mental health groups can help police officers better serve citizens with mental health conditions.
To the knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the impact of a PCAP for citizens experiencing police-abated mental health crises.
The authors would like to acknowledge Thomas K. Casady for his thoughtful comments, the research assistance Nathan Gay, and the insightful critiques of the two anonymous reviewers.
Bonkiewicz, L., M. Green, A., Moyer, K. and Wright, J. (2014), "Left alone when the cops go home: evaluating a post-mental health crisis assistance program", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 762-778. https://doi.org/10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2014-0035
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