Police response to people with mental illnesses in a major US city: The Boston experience with the co-responder model
Source: Victims and Offenders Journal
Resource Type: Documents and Publications
Focus Population: People in Recovery from Substance Use, People with Criminal Justice System Involvement, People with Serious Mental Illness (SMI)
Topics: Criminal or Juvenile Justice System, Recovery from Mental Health or Substance Use Disorders, Suicide Prevention
The authors use both quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of the co-responder approach in Boston to situations where Boston police are called to address incidents that involve individuals with mental illnesses. To meet the needs of the mentally ill, the Boston Police Department developed a partnership with the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) of Boston’s Medical Center in which police officers are paired up with clinicians to respond to incidents. The goal is to provide community based psychiatric crisis services to stabilize and divert nonviolent individuals. The program is a model that has proven to be successful in Boston and it’s been used nationally.