Recent studies indicate that up to 10 % of police contacts with the public involve persons with a serious mental illness. Little is known about how consumers perceive their interactions with the police and to what extent variations in officer strategies influences consumer cooperation with police authorities. However, research on the experiences of persons with mental illness involved in other parts of the justice system provides a useful point of departure. These studies have found that when individuals evaluate a legal interaction as being high in procedural justice (feel they have been treated fairly and respectfully); they report feeling less coerced and are more likely to cooperate with authorities. The purpose of this study is to apply procedural justice theory to the experiences and outcomes related to police contacts among persons with mental illness. In the first phase, we will conduct qualitative interviews with persons with mental illness that have had recent contact with the police. This information will be used to modify existing measures of procedural justice and coercion and to identify dimensions of experience not tapped by the measures. The resulting measures will be administered to 150 persons with mental illness who have had contact with the police in their community. We will examine how perceived procedural justice is related to cooperation on the part of the person with mental illness and outcomes of the contact such as use of force, arrest, and referral to mental health services. Understanding how persons with mental illness experience and respond to procedurally just and coercive encounters will inform police training and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for persons with mental illness who encounter law enforcement. This in turn may increase law enforcements' ability to effectively respond to persons with mental illness, reduce officer injuries, and improve public safety. ? ?
|Watson, Amy C; Angell, Beth (2013) The role of stigma and uncertainty in moderating the effect of procedural justice on cooperation and resistance in police encounters with persons with mental illnesses. Psychol Public Policy Law 19:30-39|
|Watson, Amy C; Angell, Beth; Morabito, Melissa Schaefer et al. (2008) Defying negative expectations: dimensions of fair and respectful treatment by police officers as perceived by people with mental illness. Adm Policy Ment Health 35:449-57|
|Watson, Amy C; Angell, Beth (2007) Applying procedural justice theory to law enforcement's response to persons with mental illness. Psychiatr Serv 58:787-93|