Alysson Gatens is a Research Analyst in the Center for Justice Research and Evaluation. Alysson earned her MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, with a Certificate in Policy and Program Evaluation, and BA in Criminology and Sociology from the University of South Carolina. Prior to joining the Authority, Alysson worked in law enforcement planning and research for the City of St. Louis.
Alysson Gatens is
As many as 10 percent of police contacts involve individuals with mental health conditions. A growing number of police and sheriff’s departments have implemented specialized responses to mental health crisis incidents, including crisis intervention teams. Research indicates departments offering specialized responses show greater officer knowledge of mental health conditions and more positive police attitudes toward individuals with mental health conditions. This article examines specialized mental health responses with an emphasis on practices in Illinois and offers implications for future research and practice.