Mental illness and police interactions in a mid-sized canadian city: What the data do and do not say

Jeffrey S Hoch, Kathleen Hartford, Lisa Heslop, Larry Stitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the quantity and nature of police interactions for people with mental illness in London, Ontario, Canada, in 2001. An algorithm designed for a police services administrative database was used to identify 817 people with mental illness and 111,095 people without mental illness. Charges and arrests were examined using 100 randomly selected records. People with mental illness had 3.1 more police interactions on average than the general population, and they were more frequently charged and arrested. As police officers became more familiar with the individuals, they were not much more likely to identify them as violent even when a person with mental illness had been a violent perpetrator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-66
Number of pages18
JournalCanadian Journal of Community Mental Health
Volume28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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