Police responses to persons with mental illness: the policy and procedures manual of one Australian police agency and ‘procedural justice policy’

Article


Morgan, Matthew. 2021. "Police responses to persons with mental illness: the policy and procedures manual of one Australian police agency and ‘procedural justice policy’." Social Sciences. 10 (2), pp. 1-16.
Article Title

Police responses to persons with mental illness: the policy and procedures manual of one Australian police agency and ‘procedural justice policy’

ERA Journal ID211362
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorMorgan, Matthew
Journal TitleSocial Sciences
Journal Citation10 (2), pp. 1-16
Article Number42
Number of Pages16
Year2021
Place of Publicationbasel, Switzerland
ISSN2076-0760
Web Address (URL)https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0760/10/2/42
Abstract

Persons with mental illness (PWMI) often report negative perceptions of police treatment following receiving criminalising and heavy-handed police responses. To appropriately control officer discretion and to harness ethical, legal, and efficient police practice when encountering vulnerable and diverse individuals, police agencies across the world issue policy documents to their officers. These documents serve as a reflection regarding how police agencies aspire to manage PWMI in the community. Using a procedural justice framework, this research measures how a large police agency in Australia aspires to manage PWMI and whether the police policy document provides sufficient detail in advocating the appropriate and just police treatment of PWMI. A content analysis of the policy document revealed a lack of sufficient procedural guidelines in effectively controlling police officer discretion when encountering PWMI in the community. This article argues that without further consolidation to embed appropriate procedural guidelines into the policy document, the procedural policy gaps may have a negative effect on the experiences of PWMI when encountering the police.

Keywordspolice, policing, mental health, policy, discretion, procedural justice
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020440211. Police administration, procedures and practice
440205. Criminological theories
Byline AffiliationsQueensland Univeristy of Technology
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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