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Chapter 17 - Decriminalizing Mental Illness: Specialized Policing Responses

from Part II - Solutions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 October 2021

Katherine Warburton
University of California, Davis
Stephen M. Stahl
University of California, San Diego
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The criminalization of persons suffering from a mental illness continues to be a urgent public health concern, a resource-draining criminal justice problem, and an overarching societal issue, not only in the state of California, but also across the United States and the world. With the advent of deinstitutionalization, which was codified by the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act (Cal. Welf and Inst. Code, sec. 5000 et seq.) in 1967 in the State of California and subsequent legislations across the nation, states could no longer simply lock a person with mental illness away in a mental health facility or sanitarium, which violated their constitutional right to due process. The intent of the Lanterman– Petris–Short Act was to move away from the numerous state-run institutions and create a community-based treatment model, providing mental health services in least restrictive environments.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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