Denver Program That Replaces Cops With Counselors Is Reducing Arrests


From Denverite: “A young program that puts troubled nonviolent people in the hands of health care workers instead of police officers has proven successful in its first six months, according to a progress report.

Since June 1, 2020, a mental health clinician and a paramedic have traveled around the city in a white van handling low-level incidents, like trespassing and mental health episodes, that would have otherwise fallen to patrol officers with badges and guns. In its first six months, the Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, has responded to 748 incidents. None required police or led to arrests or jail time.”

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  1. And I bet in most cases the person harassing others at the 7-11 is still there bothering people when the “counselors” leave.

    Of course this does illustrate how “mental health” is essentially a branch of law enforcement, not medicine.

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    • Well OH, I’d rather see the woman dealing with nice folks, rather than screwed up cops. Although they are young and most likely not informed about “medications”. I’m sure they are usually offered “mental treatment”. I wonder if perhaps they should also have these teams in the “mental health hospitals”, to prevent escalation in “hospital”.

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      • What if on any given day the cops were nice and the mh workers were screwed up? Sounds like some reverse stereotyping here.

        Advocating “improvement” in such a blatant and systematic criminal practice as the “mental hospital” is basically the definition of reformism. It reflects a surrender to the Sophie’s Choice mentality that necessitates the abolitionist movement, and is different from supporting coalitions opposed to forced psychiatry and state support for psychiatry.

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  2. at a practical level, this might be…”progress” ? professional manipulators using a softer form of social control vs the open, honest brutality one often gets from cops?

    either way, curbing unwanted behavior, controlling unwanted people is the goal…maybe this is cheaper, over the long haul? and yet…

    jail, prison, mental ‘hospitals…’ are places of punitive confinement, but their purpose is (fairly) clear, obvious. the ‘expert’ abuse of language is a (potentially) less punitive means to the same end, but then the bars, the locks…are placed -within- the individual. strikes me as dangerous, personally.

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