U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Exploring Physical Force and Subject Resistance in Police Encounters With People With Behavioral Health Issues

NCJ Number
Victims & Offenders Volume: 13 Issue: 8 Dated: 2018 Pages: 1106-1131
Charlotte Gill; Rachel Jenson; Breanne Cave
Date Published
26 pages
Using 3 years of incident reports (2014-2016) and an officer survey from a midsize suburban police department, this study examined police interactions with people who have behavioral health issues (PBHI) and officers' experiences and perceptions of these encounters.
The study found that police were less likely to use physical force in cases that involved PBHI, even in the face of more, and more severe, resistance; however, officers believed they used force more frequently and were unsatisfied with the options available to them to address behavioral health challenges. Recommendations for police training and practice are suggested. (publisher abstract modified)