Determining whether protective policing impacts the mental health of people detained and the legitimacy of police in the community

The Foundation's program, Public Health Law Research: Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health, was designed to build the evidence for public health law and policy, translate research findings into practical tools to increase the support for and use of law by policy makers and public health practitioners, and to translate findings to other fields and venues to improve and protect health.Proactive policing has become a primary strategy for controlling violence and disorder in urban America. The key tactic is the widespread use of "Terry" stops, where police temporarily detain, frisk and perhaps search persons or their property when an officer has "reasonable suspicion" to suspect that "crime is afoot." This project will identify the effects of proactive policing on the mental and physical health of persons stopped. The effects on community mental and physical health of "stop and frisk" or "Terry" stops, the dominant law enforcement strategy for violence reduction in urban areas, will be analyzed. Identifying common practices that adversely affect the mental health of citizens will constructively inform law enforcement policies. Deliverables include: reports for diverse audiences including both criminal justice and public health; presentations of final results at professional conferences; working with intermediary organizations for dissemination; posting data and reports on the website to disseminate results; submitting articles for professional and popular journals; an archived dataset; and a final technical and financial report.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $449,990.00

Awarded on: 11/11/2011

Time frame: 11/15/2011 - 11/14/2013

Grant Number: 69669


Columbia University School of Law

435 West 116th Street
Mail Code 4004
New York, 10027-7297


Jeffrey A. Fagan
Project Director


Amanda B. Geller
Project Director