From Police, Treatment, and Community Collaborative:

1) R Street reviews statewide policies on pre-arrest diversion and crisis response 

Take a first look at the study just published by PTACC National Partner, R Street: “Statewide Policies Relating to Pre-Arrest Diversion and Crisis Response,” written by Lars Trautman and Jonathan Haggerty.

The study provides an overview of pre-arrest diversion strategies, then reviews and analyzes statewide barriers to and accelerants of pre-arrest diversion and crisis response initiatives, including:

  • emergency mental health hold laws
  • protective custody statutes
  • citation authority
  • substance abuse Good Samaritan laws
  • ambulance transport destination rules

The authors write, that “while arrest is warranted for many of the more serious transgressions, it is an ill-fitting and disproportionate response to myriad other situations. Yet, traditionally, the only other option officially available to officers is to do nothing…in recent years, police departments from Seattle, Washington to Gloucester, Massachusetts have instituted new strategies and initiatives meant to break this old paradigm and present their officers with options beyond the binary choice to arrest or take no action.

Trautman and Haggerty conclude that, although pre-arrest diversion and crisis response strategies are often local in nature, state policy may dictate what resources are available to these programs and influence their operating conditions. There does not yet exist a perfect environment for pre-arrest diversion and crisis response, but there are many promising options.

Read the full report here.