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

2014

 

 

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/PIJPSM-04-2014-0035

 

Purpose

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?

Design/methodology/approach

We use propensity score matching to analyze data from a sample of individuals (N=739) who experienced a police-abated mental health crisis.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

Our study demonstrates that partnerships between police departments and local mental health groups can help police officers better serve citizens with mental health conditions.

Originality/value

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee

www.hsjcc.on.ca/