The Variability in Law Enforcement State Standards: A 42-State Survey on Mental Health and De-escalation Training

New Report Reveals Differences among State Law Enforcement Training Standards for Responding to People with Mental Illnesses

The CSG Justice Center, in partnership with the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training (IADLEST), today released the results of a national survey on state law enforcement training standards for responding to people with mental illnesses. Developed with funding support from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the report details results from 42 state training authorities and reveals that, while nearly all states have law enforcement training standards on mental health and crisis de-escalation, the required training hours, topics, and teaching methods differ widely. Survey respondents reported, for example, that training on mental health and de-escalation topics ranged from 2–40 hours for recruits or new officers.

Martha Plotkin and Talia Peckerman | February 2017 | The Council of State Governments Justice Center and International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training

The Variability in Law Enforcement State Standards: A 42-State Survey on Mental Health and Crisis De-escalation Training provides a snapshot of how state training standards are being used to improve responses to people with mental illnesses. The report also serves as part of the CSG Justice Center’s continued efforts to study and improve state-level strategies that empower local law enforcement agencies to more effectively address mental health issues. Although state standards can promote consistent minimum requirements, they are one of several mechanisms that should be considered to promote quality training; ensure that training is part of a comprehensive police-mental health collaboration; and help local agencies receive the supports needed to safely reduce arrests and injuries, increase diversion to treatment, and promote compassionate responses that build trust between police and community.

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