Left alone when the cops go home: evaluating a post-mental health crisis assistance program
Luke Bonkiewicz, Alan M. Green, Kasey Moyer, Joseph Wright
Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management
This paper evaluates a police departmentís Post Crisis Assistance Program (PCAP) for consumers who experienced a police-abated mental health crisis. We analyzed three questions: First, does PCAP reduce a consumer's future mental health calls for service? 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?
We use propensity score matching to analyze data from a sample of individuals (N=739) who experienced a police-abated mental health crisis.
We find that PCAP consumers generated fewer mental health calls for service, were less likely to be arrested, and were less likely to be taken into emergency protective custody than non-PCAP consumers six months following a police-abated mental health crisis.
Our research only examined outcomes six months after a mental health crisis. We encourage future research to examine whether the benefits of PCAP persist over longer periods of time.
Our study demonstrates that partnerships between police departments and local mental health groups can help police officers better serve citizens with mental health conditions.
To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the impact of a Post-Crisis Assistance Program (PCAP) for citizens experiencing police-abated mental health crises.