Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 281–300

Policing the deinstitutionalized mentally ill: Toward an understanding of its function

  • Sandra Wachholz
  • Robert Mullaly
Articles

Abstract

Although the police have long been recognized as a community health resource in the United States, this role has expanded significantly over the past several decades as a result of the deinstitutionalization movement. From a critical perspective, this article provides an analysis of the relationship between this enlarged police role and the current American socio-political order, in general, and the welfare state in particular. It is argued that in the course of handling the mentally ill the police carry out a number of functions for both the welfare state and the socio-political order, and in doing so, shore-up the social conditions which have inhibited the development of a positive, long-term care policy for the mentally ill. This article discusses three such functions and identifies an alternative social arrangement; one in which the police would not have to serve as a support for liberal-capitalism and its attendant inadequate welfare state.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and references

  1. 1.
    Teplin, L., “Criminalizing Mental Disorders: The Comparative Arrest Rate for the Mentally Ill,”American Psychologist, 1984a (39∶7) 794–803.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bittner, E., “Police Discretion in Emergency Apprehension of Mentally Ill Persons,”Social Problems, 1967 (14:3), 278–292.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hanewicz, W., L. Fransway and M. O'Neill, “Improving the Linkages between Community Mental Health and the Police,”Journal of Police Science and Administration, 1982 (10:2), 218–223; D. Kalinich and J. Senese, “Police Discretion and the Mentally Disordered in Chicago: A Reconsideration,”Police Studies, 1987 (10:4), 185–191; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit. “Criminalizing Mental Disorders: The Comparative Arrest Rate for the Mentally Ill,”American Psychologist, (39:7), 794–803.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bonovitz, J. and J. Bonovitz, “Diversion of the Mentally Ill into the Criminal Justice System: The Police Intervention Perspective,”American Journal of Psychiatry, 1981 (138:7), 973–976; Finn, P., “Dealing with Street People: The Social Service Systems Can Help,”The Police Chief, 1988 (55:2), 47–51; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit. “Criminalizing Mental Disorders: The Comparative Arrest Rate for the Mentally Ill,”American Psychologist, (39:7), 974–803.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    ; Fischer, P. “Criminal Activity among the Homeless: A Study of Arrests in Baltimore,”Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 1988 (39:1), 46–51; Teplin, L. (ed.),Mental Health and Criminal Justice (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1984b).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Arcaya, J., “The Police and the Emotionally Disturbed: A Psychoanalytic Theory of Intervention,”International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 1989 (33:1), 37–48.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Finn, P. and M. Sullivan,Police Response to Special Populations (Washington, D.C., National Institute of Justice, 1987), Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, “Police Handling of the Mentally Ill: Sharing Responsibility with the Mental Health System,”Journal of Criminal Justice, 1989 (7), 1–14.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bonsignore, J., E. Katsh, P. Errico, R. Pipkin, S. Arons and J. Rifkin,Before the Law: An Introduction to the Legal Process (Dallas, Houghton Mufflic Co.: 1979, 2nd ed.), 163.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Morrissey, J., “Deinstitutionalizing the Mentally Ill: Process, Outcomes, and New Directions,” in W. Groves (ed.),Deviance and Mental Illness (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1982).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Elpers, J., “Are We Legislating Reinstitutionalization?”American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1987 (57:3), 441–446; Ibid.; Williams, D., E. Bellis and S. Wellington, “Deinstitutionalization and Social Policy: Historical Perspective and Present Dilemmas,”American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1980 (50:1), 54–64.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
  13. 13.
    Kiesler, C., T. McGuire, D. Mechanic, L. Mosher, S. Nelson, F. Newman, R. Rich and H. Schulberg, “Federal Mental Health Policy Making: An Assessment of Deinstitutionalization,”American Psychologist, 1983 (December), 1292–1297.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Scull, A.,Decarceration: Community Treatment and the Deviant—A Radical View (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1984, 2nd ed.).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
  16. 16.
    Braun, P., G. Kochansky, R. Shapiro, S. Greenberg, J. Gudeman, S. Johnson and M. Shore, “Deinstitutionalization of Psychiatric Patients: A Critical Review of Outcome Studies,”American Journal of Psychiatry, 1981 (138), 736–749 at 739.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lovell, A. and N. Scheper-Hughes, “Deinstitutionalization and Psychiatric Expertise: Reflections on Dangerousness, Deviancy, and Madness,”International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 1986 (9), 361–381.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Goffman, E.,Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and Other Inmates (New York: Harper and Row, 1961); Szasz, T.,The Myth of Mental Illness (New York: Harper and Row, 1961).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
  20. 20.
    ; Pepper, B. and H. Ryglewicz, “Testimony for the Neglected: The Mentally Ill in the Post-Deinstitutionalized Age,”American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1982 (52:3), 388–392.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
  22. 22.
    . ; Ibid. Pepper, B. and H. Ryglewicz, 1982, “Testimony for the Neglected: The Mentally Ill in the Post-Deinstitutionalized Age,”American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1982 (52:3), 388–392.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kiesler, A. and E. Sibulkin,Mental Hospitalization: Myths and Facts about a National Crisis (New Bury Park, CA: Sage, 1987).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
  25. 25.
  26. 26.
    Pepper, B. and H. Ryglewicz, 1982,.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Scull, A., “Deinstitutionalization and Public Policy,”Social Science Medical, 1985 (20:5), 545–552.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Torrey, E.,Nowhere to Go: The Tragic Odyssey of the Homeless Mentally Ill (New York: Harper and Row, 1988).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bachrach, L., “The Homeless Mentally Ill and Mental Health Services: An Analytical Review of the Literature,” in H. R. Lamb (ed.),The Homeless Mentally Ill (Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 1984).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Test, R., “Effective Community Treatment and the Chronically Mentally Ill: What is Necessary?”Journal of Social Issues, 1981 (37), 71–86.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Torrey, E., 1988,.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Goldman, H., A. Gattozzi and A. Taube, “Defining and Counting the Chronically Mentally Ill,”Hospital and Community Psychiatry, 1981 (32), 21–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Scull, A., 1985,.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lovell, A. and N. Scheper-Hughes, 1986,, 364.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Martin, G.,Social Policy in the Welfare State (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1990).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Torrey, E., 1988,.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kiesler, C., T. McGuire, D. Mechanic, L. Mosher, S. Nelson, F. Newman, R. Rich and H. Schulberg, 1983,.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lovell, A. and N. Scheper-Hughes, 1986,.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Torrey, E., 1988,.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lovell, A. and N. Scheper-Hughes, 1986,.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1989,.; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit. “Criminalizing Mental Disorders: The Comparative Arrest Rate for the Mentally Ill,”American Psychologist, (39:7), 794–803.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bittner, E., 1967,.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kalinich, D. and J. Senese, 1987,; Teplin, L., W. Filstead, G. Hefter and E. Sheridan, “Police involvement with the Psychiatric-Emergency Patient,”Psychiatric Annals, 1980 (10:5), 46–54.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Fox, R. and P. Erickson,Apparently Suffering From Mental Disorder (Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto, 1976) cited in L. Teplin (ed.),Mental Health and Criminal Justice (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1984b), 148.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Bittner, E., 1967,.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Arcaya, J., 1989,.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Bittner, E., 1967,. Teplin, L., W. Filstead, G. Hefter and E. Sheridan, 1980, op. cit. “Police involvement with the Psychiatric-Emergency Patient,”Psychiatric Annals, 1980 (10:5), 46–54.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Kalinich, D. and J. Senese, 1987,.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Ibid.; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit.; Teplin, L., 1984b, op. cit.. Whitmer, G.: “From Hospitals to Jails: The Fate of California's Deinstitutionalization Mentally Ill,”American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1980 (50:1), 65–75.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Bonovitz, J. and J. Bonovitz, 1981, op. cit.;Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Whitmer, G., 1980, op. cit..Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Bonovitz, J. and J. Bonovitz, 1981, op. cit.; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit..Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Kalinich, D. and J. Senese, 1987, op. cit.; Monahan, J., C. Caldeira and H. Friedlander, “Police and the Mentally Ill: A Comparison of Committed and Arrested Persons,”International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 1979 (2), 509–518; Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit..PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Monahan, J., C. Caldeira and H. Friedlander, 1979, op. cit.;PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Arcaya, J., 1989 op. cit..Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1987, ; Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1989, op. cit. Finn. P. and M. Sullivan, “Police Handling of the Mentally Ill: Sharing Responsibility with the Mental Health System”Journal of Criminal Justice 1989 (7), 1–14.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Galper, J.,The Politics of Social Services (New Jersey Prentice-Hall, 1975), 9.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Esping-Anderson, G., “After the Welfare State,Public Welfare, 1983 (Winter), 28–34.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Bureau of Census,Measuring the effects of Benefits and Taxes on Income and Property: Current Populations Reports, Series P-60, No. 169-RD (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990).Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Krugman, P.,The Age of Diminished Expectations: U.S. Economic Policy in the 1990s (Washington: The Washington Post Publishing Co., 1990).Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Galper, J., 1975, op. cit..Google Scholar
  62. 62.
  63. 63.
    Mullaly, R., Structural Social Work: Ideology, Theory and Practice (Unpublished Manuscript, 1991).Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Marchak, P.,Ideological Perspectives on Canada (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975).Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Mullaly, R., 1991, op. cit. Structural Social Work: Ideology, Theory and Practice (Unpublished Manuscript, 1991).Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Ibid. Mullaly, R., Structural Social Work: Ideology, Theory and Practice (Unpublished Manuscript, 1991).Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    Titmuss, R.,Essays on the Welfare State (London: Allen and Unwin, 1958).Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Esping-Anderson, G., 1983, op. cit..Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Martin, G., 1990, op. cit..Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Andrian, C.,Social Policies in Western Industrial Societies (Berkeley, Institute of International Studies, University of California, 1985).Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Weir, M., A. Orloff and T. Skocpol (eds.),The Politics of Social Policy in the United States (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Department of Health and Human Services,Monthly Benefits Statistics: Summary Program Data, No. 12 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1986).Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Day, P.,A New History of Social Welfare (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1989).Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Fuerst J. (ed.),Public Housing in Europe and America (London: Croom Helm, 1974) cited in R. Mishra,Society and Social Policy: Theories and Practice of Welfare (New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1981, 2nd ed.).Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    HOUSING NOW!, “Homeless Fact Sheet,” 1989, April cited in G. Barak, “Homelessness and the Case for Community-Based Initiatives: The Emergence of Model Shelter as a Short-Term Response to the Deepening Crisis in Housing,” in H. Pepinsky and R. Quinney (eds.),Criminology as Peacemaking (Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University press, 1991).Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Esping-Anderson, G., 1983 op. cit..Google Scholar
  77. 77.
    Teplin, L., “The Prevalence of Severe Mental Disorder Among Male Urban Jail Detainees: Comparison with the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program,”American Journal of PUblic Health, 1990 (80:6), 663–669; Palermo, G., M. Smith and F. Liska, “Jails Versus Mental Hospitals: A Social Dilemma,”International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 1991 (35:2), 97–106.Google Scholar
  78. 78.
    Teplin, L., 1984a, op. cit..Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Aulette, J. and A. Aulette, “Police Harassment of the Homeless: The Political Purpose of the Criminalization of the Homeless,”Humanity and Society, 1987 (11:2), 244–256; Fischer, P., 1988, op. cit..Google Scholar
  80. 80.
    Finn, P., 1988, op. cit., 49.Google Scholar
  81. 81.
    Aulette, J. and A. Aulette, 1988, op. cit. Fischer, P., 1988, op. cit.Google Scholar
  82. 82.
    Olivero, M., “Police Linkage with Community Mental Health Centers in the Management of Criminal Justice-Mental Health Emergencies,”Journal of Police and Criminal psychology, 1990 (6:2), 8–13.Google Scholar
  83. 83.
    Snow, D., S. Baker and L. Anderson, “Criminality and Homeless Men: An Empirical Assessment,”Social Problems, 1989 (36:5), 532–549.Google Scholar
  84. 84.
    Aulette, J. and A. Aulette, 1988, op. cit..Google Scholar
  85. 85.
  86. 86.
    Fischer, P., 1988, op. cit.; Whitmer, G., 1980, op. cit..Google Scholar
  87. 87.
    Lurigio, A. and D. Lewis, “Worlds that Fail: A Longitudinal Study of Urban Mental Patients,”Journal of Social Issues, 1989 (45:3), 79–90.Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Barak, G. and R. Bohm, “The Crimes of the Homeless or the Crime of Homelessness? On the Dialectics of Criminalization, Decriminalization, and Victimization,”Contemporary Crisis, 1989 (13:3), 275–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. 89.
    Gil, D., “Work, Violence, Injustice, and War,”Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 1989 (16:1), 39–53 at 48.Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1987, op. cit.; Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1989, op. cit..Google Scholar
  91. 91.
    Rein, M. and D. Schon, “Problem Setting in Policy Research,” in C. Weiss (ed.)Using Social Research in Public Policy Making (Lexington, Mass Lexington Books, 1977).Google Scholar
  92. 92.
  93. 93.
    Torrey, E., 1988, op. cit..Google Scholar
  94. 94.
  95. 95.
    Pepper, B. and H. Ryglewicz, 1982, op. cit..Google Scholar
  96. 96.
    Torrey, E., 1988, op. cit..Google Scholar
  97. 97.
    Reamer, R., “The Affordable Housing Crisis and Social Work,”Social Work: Journal of the National Association of Social Workers, 1989 (34:1), 5–9.Google Scholar
  98. 98.
    Blau, J., “The Limits of the Welfare State: New York City's Response to Homelessness,”Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare (16:1), 79–91.Google Scholar
  99. 99.
    Martin, G., 1990, op. cit..Google Scholar
  100. 100.
    Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1987, op. cit.; Finn, P. and M. Sullivan, 1989, op. cit..Google Scholar
  101. 101.
    Galper, J., 1975, op. cit..; George, V. and P. Wilding,Ideology and Social Welfare (London: Routledge and Kegan, 1976).Google Scholar
  102. 102.
    Barak, G. and R. Bohm, 1989, op. cit..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. 103.
    Nove, A., “Socialism-Why?” in H. McCullough (ed.),Political Ideologies and Political Philosophies (Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc., 1989).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Wachholz
    • 1
  • Robert Mullaly
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Social WorkSt. Thomas UniversityFrederictonCanada

Personalised recommendations