Responding to persons with mental illness (PWMI): Police recruit perceptions of mental health response training and engagement

Article


Morgan, Matthew and Miles-Johnson, Toby. 2021. "Responding to persons with mental illness (PWMI): Police recruit perceptions of mental health response training and engagement." Cogent Social Sciences. 8 (1), pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2021.2020469
Article Title

Responding to persons with mental illness (PWMI): Police recruit perceptions of mental health response training and engagement

ERA Journal ID210283
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMorgan, Matthew (Author) and Miles-Johnson, Toby (Author)
Journal TitleCogent Social Sciences
Journal Citation8 (1), pp. 1-16
Article Number2020469
Number of Pages16
Year2021
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2331-1886
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2021.2020469
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311886.2021.2020469
Abstract

Many Australian police organisations embed mental health response training (MHRT) into their recruit training packages. Yet critics argue police officers are under-trained and ill-equipped to engage with persons with mental illness (PWMI) in crisis, and officers frequently police PWMI using discretional techniques that are procedurally unfair and unjust. Applying a procedural justice lens, this research sought to better understand whether MHRT offered by one Australian state police organisation (de-identified as part of the ethics agreement) equips its recruits to engage appropriately with PWMI in future practice, and whether the MHRT effectively prepares recruits to use procedurally fair policing techniques when responding to PWMI in crisis. Conducting semi-structured interviews with recruits upon completion of the MHRT, this research determines that recruits are aware of their lack of knowledge regarding policing PWMI in crisis and are concerned that they may engage in differential policing because the MHRT has under-prepared them for future policing practice.

KeywordsPolice, mental health, procedural justice, training
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440211. Police administration, procedures and practice
440205. Criminological theories
Byline AffiliationsQueensland Univeristy of Technology
University of Western Sydney
Open access urlhttps://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311886.2021.2020469
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q70y3/responding-to-persons-with-mental-illness-pwmi-police-recruit-perceptions-of-mental-health-response-training-and-engagement

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