A subgroup of individuals with severe and presistent mental illness (SPMI) commit acts of intimate partner violence (IPV). State and federal legislators have enacted statutes altering police response to IPV. Proarrest laws have curbed police discretion to a degree, and resulted in more IPV arrests. Unaware of alternative options, such as family court, mental health professionals may refer families with IPV to the police. However, perpetrators with SPMI may be inappropriate for adjudication in the criminal justice system. A singular legal response to IPV may miss the opportunity for detection and assertive treatment of SPMI, that could promote safety and reduce the likelihood of violence. Offenders with SPMI may also have difficulty comprehending court procedures. This article discusses the potential for a more flexible approach to IPV through interdisciplinary coordination and training of police, judges, attorneys, legal advocates, mental health professionals and substance abuse providers.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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