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ACR303 Criminology Practicum 2018

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ACR303 Criminology Practicum 2018

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ACR303 Criminology Practicum 2018

0 Download6 Pages / 1,284 Words

Course Code: ACR303
University: Deakin University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Your superior officer has requested that you provide a report on options for improving police capacity to manage and respond to members of the community and offenders with mental health concerns.
In order for you to successfully prepare the brief you should consider the following:

Strategies already in place for dealing with individuals with mental health concerns
The various stakeholder groups that should be consulted or partnered with
The challenges in preventing and responding to individuals with mental health concerns
Lessons-learned from other jurisdictions
A consideration of what Victoria Police can practically implement in the short, medium or long-term
A consideration of what wider stakeholders might implement over the short, medium or long-term
The feasibility of the recommendations you make. It is fine to make recommendations based on what the evidence suggests are the key issues, but it is also important that you consider the potential limitations and costs of those recommendations.

1) Ensure that you consult, and reference, the relevant scholarly and public policy literature.
2) Although you won’t have access to the exact strategies currently implemented by Victoria Police it is important that you make use of all relevant open source information to demonstrate that you understand the work already underway in this area.
1) What is the word count for this assessment?
2) What structure should I follow?
3) Do I need a table of contents?
4) What happens if my ‘briefing up’ paper is more than one page?
5) Does the ‘briefing up’ paper require references?
6) Can my major report topic be different from my presentation topic?
7) Do I need to address every bullet point under ‘consider the following’ (found within each topic document)?
8) Can I use information from my presentation in my major report/’briefing up’ paper?
9) Is a title page needed?
10) Should the ‘briefing up’ paper be before the major report?
11) Are in-text citations included in the word count?
12) Is it okay to use first person language?
13) Can I use a graph/table in the major report?
14) Can we use images?
15) Can we use interviews we conduct within our major report?


Police officers have to regularly deal with persons suffering from mental illnesses, whether such persons are the perpetrators, victims or witnesses of crime. For example, the police in Victoria take into custody one person every two hours and takes a person to hospital for assessment. Therefore it is surprising that very few police officers are equipped with the knowledge and skills that are required for properly dealing with people suffering from mental disorders in crisis. It has been discovered that less than 10 percent of front-line police officers had the mental health training (Castellano-Hoyt, 2003). There are certain rare and tragic cases where the persons suffering from mental problems cause serious injury to themselves or others and are killed by the police, which receives high enough media attention. However, it is sad that the police asked to use force, as well as lethal force against disproportionate number of persons who are having serious mental problems. Under these circumstances, the police is considering providing rigorous training program, which can assist all the operational police officers to deal with the persons who are having serious mental problems (Department of Health, 2011).
Strategies already in place to deal with individuals with mental health concerns: Even if the police officers have significant experience in handling a wide range of difficult people and they have management strategies that generally work fine. But the challenge faced by the police, while dealing with the person in the mental health crises is the fact that such person can be irrational and it could be difficult for such person to communicate their distress to the police. Among the survey conducted between 3500 police officers in Victoria, it was revealed that encounter with mentally ill persons cause significant practical complexities, regarding the ways to deal with such persons and also how to find suitable support for these persons (Gillig et al., P 1990).
It has been revealed by the research in this regard that the radiation in the understanding of the police officers regarding mental illness, including if the police officers know someone who has a mental illness in their private lives, helps in deciding how the police is going to handle mentally ill persons.
The various stakeholder groups that should be consulted or partnered with: It is important that the police officers have the training and experience that is required for efficiently working with persons having mental issues. Such training is required to cover the three following areas; understanding mental illness, identifying persons with mental problems; and communicating with such persons in a non-violent way so that their distress can be reduced. At the same time, it is also significant that the training should include the opportunities that are necessary for developing and practicing communication, as well as de-escalation skills (Godfredson, 2010). However current national and international police mental health training programs are highly variable. Only a few of these programs have been carefully tested in order to decide their efficiency in attaining the purposes of the training. For example, all the police officers in Victorian take part in one-day training exercise. It includes a simulation which involves an individual with mental problems. Another method of training is the Mental Health First Aid that is followed by some police forces.
The challenges in preventing and responding to individuals with mental health concerns: However there are many experts who have criticized this focus on training, although they have noted that it cannot result in noticeable difference without the extra infrastructure support provided to the police and to the people with mental problems with whom the police come into contact. Therefore it is ill-fated that even though training advances are regularly announced, only little time and resources are used for assisting the police in working more efficiently with the persons having mental illness (Godfredson et al., 2011). However in Victoria, for example police spends hours in their efforts to obtain a mental health assessment regarding a person represented by them. Similarly, the hospitals also struggle to accommodate the police even if the hectic emergency departments do not have time for them.
Lessons-learned from other jurisdictions: The presence of a large number of people with mental problems in prisons have resulted in rising policy concerns in all domains of criminal justice system, including police practice. It is the point where the initial decisions have to be made if the persons have to be involved in the justice system or if they are going to be diverted to mental health services (Kesic, Thomas and Ogloff, 2010). One approach that is generally adopted in this regard is to focus the response of the police in such situations is to implement the Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT). The CIT model has received widespread implementation and at present, nearly 400 programs are operating.
Collaboration: it is very important to have collaboration amid police and mental health clinicians in order to help the persons with mental problems received treatment, support recovery and safely take part in the community. In this context, the meaning of collaboration is to respect professional judgment, independence and to apply problem-solving approach regarding the requests made for assistance. In case of differences, an attempt should be made to resolve such differences at the earliest convenience.
A consideration of what Victoria Police can practically implement in the short, medium or long-term: the main consideration in decision-making should be the welfare and safety of the persons with mental problems as well as the other persons present. For this purpose, necessary professional judgment regarding this situation should be used and at the same time the human rights of the person should also be upheld while the duty of care considerations should also be kept in mind. Therefore it needs to be knowledge that there are several persons with mental illness who have faced the wide range of trauma, which may include sexual and physical abuse (Laing, 2009).
A consideration of what wider stakeholders might implement over the short, medium or long-term: it is important that the police and the mental health clinicians react to the requirements of the persons with mental illness in the least restrictive ways that are practical for minimizing any interference with the human rights of person, including privacy, dignity and liberty.
Timely response: it is the obligation of the police and mental health clinicians to attend to the situations as soon as practicable and there should be no undue delay. For this purpose, the significance of releasing stuff from other services should be recognized as soon as they have performed their function and are not required anymore.
Castellano-Hoyt DW 2003 Enhancing Police Response to Persons in Mental Health Crisis: Providing Strategies, Communication Techniques, and Crisis Intervention Preparation in Overcoming Institutional Challenges Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publishers
Department of Health 2011 Victorian Health Priorities Framework 2012-202: Metropolitan Health Plan State of Victoria
Gillig PM, Dumaine M, Widish Stammer J, Hillard JR & Grubb P 1990 ‘What do police officers really want from the mental health system’ Hospital and Community Psychiatry 41(6) pp663-665
Godfredson JW, Ogloff JP, Thomas SDM & Luebbers S 2010 ‘Police discretion and encounters with people experiencing mental illness’ Criminal Justice and Behaviour 37(12) pp1392-1405
Godfredson JW, Thomas SDM, Ogloff JP, & Luebbers S 2011 ‘Police perceptions of their encounters with individuals experiencing mental illness: A Victoria survey’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology 44(2) pp180-95
Kesic D, Thomas SDM, & Ogloff P 2010 ‘Mental illness among police fatalities in Victoria 1982-2007: Case linkage study’ Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatrists 44(5) pp463-468
Laing R, 2009 ‘Application of a Model for the Development of a Mental Health Service Delivery Collaboration Between Police and the Health Service’ Issues in Mental Health Nursing 30(5) pp337-341

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