Thursday, August 31, 2006

Juvenile Crime Up; PERF; Police and Mental Health

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports: Rise in violent juvenile crime sparks nationwide meeting. Responding to a nationwide increase in juvenile crime, the Police Executives Research Forum hosted a meeting of officials from cities around the country in Washington, DC, this week.

This story led me to look up the Police Executives Research Forum, since I'd never heard of it. This 30-year-old group

is a national membership organization of progressive police executives from the largest city, county and state law enforcement agencies. PERF is dedicated to improving policing and advancing professionalism through research and involvement in public policy debate.
It's funded largely by grants from government and foundations. It has lots of interesting research projects, including such varied topics as law enforcement DNA practices and a study comparing classroom programs for 6th- and 7th-graders to reduce gender violence and harassment.

Currently PERF is working (with the Justice Department) on procedures "to help improve outcomes of police encounters with people with mental illnesses," and is inviting input. The announcement links to the Consensus Project's list of The Essential Elements of a Specialized Police-Based Program, a web forum seeking community comments.

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