MENTAL ILLNESS WITHIN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: URBAN VS. RURAL POLICE PERCEPTION
Poppars, Tameka V.
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This study examines at mental health within the criminal justice system. The study gathered data from police officers regarding how they interacted with suspects and offenders that are suffering from mental illness. Interviews were conducted on police officers from two departments. The purpose was to determine if police officers perception affects how they view mental illness within the criminal justice system. A series of questions were asked and recorded and found that officers from the urban and rural department perception were different. The purpose of the study was to determine if police officers has more negative or positive interactions with people suffering from mental illness. Does the officer have a different perspective of mental health then when they had their first encounter with someone with mental illness? Do the two police departments have different approach techniques for handling situations involving mental illness? After interviewing and carefully translating the information, it was found that officers had limited knowledge about mental illness and officers felt that they were not prepared to handle encounter with individuals with mental illness.