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January 1968

Clinical Change in Jail-Referred Mental Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Psychiatric Institute, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;18(1):42-46. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740010044006

PATIENT access to Maryland State Mental Hospitals from Baltimore is mediated to an unusual degree by the local police. In practice, the police operate Baltimore's largest emergency referral facility. Emergency psychiatric services at both the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins evaluate only one third the number of patients committed by police surgeons from the city jail. (The term "Jail" as used in this paper refers to the southwestern police station in Baltimore city. Males who require evaluation, certification, and transportation to mental hospitals are pooled at this facility.) There are approximately 3,400 adult admissions to state hospitals each year from the city of Baltimore. Forty-four percent of these patients are transported to the hospital, usually in restraints, by the police department.

Further examination of these figures indicates that the statistical likelihood of Negro patients being transported to the hospital

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