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Emergency Protective Custody

Mental health crisis services use is declining, but users often repeat crisis services

Through Emergency Protective Custody (EPC), law enforcement may take a person into involuntary custody who is mentally ill and dangerous to themselves or others and who does not seek voluntary treatment when encouraged to do so by officers. 

  • The number of EPC admissions has declined 34% since 2006.
    • In 2005, police awareness training taught how to refer people to services and offer them the opportunity to be admitted voluntarily.
  • Approximately 40% of those admitted have previously been EPC’d sometime between 2012 and 2018.
    • For those with repeat admissions, the majority (63%) return within 13 months.