Justice Dept. focuses on police treatment of mentally ill

That finding is intended to chart a path to what federal officials hope will be far-reaching improvements

WASHINGTON (AP) – Justice Department lawyers investigating police agencies for racial discrimination and excessive force are increasingly finding a different problem: officers’ interactions with the mentally ill.

The latest example came in Baltimore.

A harshly critical report this month found that city officers end up in unnecessarily violent confrontations with mentally disabled people who in many instances haven’t even committed crimes.

Though past federal investigations have addressed the problem, the Baltimore report marked the first time the Justice Department has explicitly found that a police department’s policies violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

That finding is intended to chart a path to what federal officials hope will be far-reaching improvements, including better-trained dispatchers and officers, diversion of more people to treatment rather than jail and stronger relationships with mental health specialists.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

WKBN 27 First News provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. No links will be permitted. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s