Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date

Spring 2015


Police services for the mentally ill, Criminal psychology, Mental illness, Law enforcement -- United States


Addressing mental illness in the American criminal justice system is necessary in order to ensure both citizens and officers are safe. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011), published studies show approximately 25 percent of all adults in the U.S. have a mental illness and nearly 50 percent of adults in the U.S. will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetimes. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics also indicates nearly 25 percent of state prisoners and jail inmates with a mental health problem have three or more prior incarcerations (as cited in Glaze & James, 2006). This fact equates to a significant amount of interaction between police and persons with mental illness. It is fortunate there are growing volumes of literature on the study of persons with mental illness and their interactions with police officers. With this report, we reviewed 47 articles focusing on ways of improving police responses to persons with mental illnesses. We have organized the results of our literature review into five sections: Definitions and Prevalence, Characteristics of Those Affected, Typical Problems, Better Practices and Implications for Policy. It is our sincere hope the information provided will be useful in the ongoing development of policy and training, as well as the ongoing distinctions and successes for the Portland Police Bureau.


Portland State University, Spring 2015 - Criminology and Criminal Justice Senior Capstone Class:

Michelle Alplanalp, John Anderson, Cassandra Angelozzi, Keri Begin, Michael Benson, Richard Brock, Julia Bryant, Sabrina Buffham, Eric Cardona, Ariel Carlson, Carolina Castro, Rachel Clark, Adreanna Cop, Eric Cyman, Nancy DeLima, Rachel Deverell, Jayme Dodd, Jenny DuPont, Carl (Alex) Eckner, Honey Eliasi, Jessica Fessler-Huerta, Michelle Fitch, Rebeca Flores, Justin Gagnon, Cassandra Galbreath, Carmen Groom, Krystal Gutierrez, Ashley Hamilton, Kerilyn Haney, Renee Houghton, Melissa Hurtado, Elizabeth Johaningmeier, Carmen Kantner, Caitlynn Kolb, Matthew Langley, Christine Larcome, Jennifer Lee, Mary Lord, Rebecca Maples, Rachel Marler, Celeste Marlow, Jason Mars, David McBride, Jill McIntosh, Colleen McNamara-Jackson, Stephen Miller, Katie Mitchelldyer, Joshua Mundell, Quoc Nguyen, Kelly O’Flahrity, Heather O’Malley, Olson, Erik, Florina Pacala, Juisa Pineda, Tonya Quigley-Steele, Christina Ray, Brett Reed, Jennifer Rodriguez Waldron, James Rohde, Michael Schneider, Adam Sepagan, Kelsey Shaddy, Christopher Songer, Rochenda Stubblefield, Rose Surcamp, Stefania Tarcau, Daniel Tatro, Elizabeth Tharp, Deanna Toney, Fernando Torres, Lucas Uribe, Donna Wainwright, Amanda Weaver, Gena Young

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