Horizons Of Context

A very short post, to highlight an important article, which is probably most relevant for mental health and social care professionals seeking to understand police decision-making: “Horizons of Context: Understanding the Police Decision to Arrest People With Mental Illness” by Dr Melissa MORABITO, now of the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

This article covers the criminal justice literature on decision-making since the 1960s, starting with Egon BITTNER’s work and offers a framework within which it is proposed that arrest decision-making occurs.  It attempts to put down the “criminalisation hypothesis” offered during the 1970s and 1980s and in my opinion, succeeds.

This is potentially also useful for the empowerment of police officers who feel subject to unjustified criticism around their arrest and detention of mentally ill suspects or those who are in need of immediate care.

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