Does De‐Escalation Training Work? A Systematic Review and Call For Evidence in Police Use‐Of‐Force Reform
Criminology & Public Policy
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Research Summary: De-escalation training has been widely implemented by U.S. police agencies in the wake of adverse public reaction to recent controversial police use-of-force incidents. Despite vast promotion from politicians, academics, expert panels, and the public, we know little about the effects of de-escalation training on officers and police–citizen interactions. In this article, we offer findings from a multidisciplinary systematic literature review that demonstrate limited knowledge concerning the impact of de-escalation training across all professions. We identified 64 de-escalation training evaluations conducted over a 40-year period, primarily in the fields of nursing and psychiatry. Policy Implications: Although assessment outcomes reveal few adverse consequences and provide some confidence that de-escalation trainings lead to slight-to-moderate individual and organizational improvements, conclusions concerning the effectiveness of de-escalation training are limited by the questionable quality of almost all evaluation research designs. As such, important questions regarding the impact of de-escalation training for police remain. Given the critical impact that de-escalation training could have on officers and the public they serve, we conclude with a direct call to academics, practitioners, and funders across the field of policing to prioritize as soon as possible the testing of de-escalation and other police use-of-force policies, tactics, and training.
Criminology and Criminal Justice | Public Policy
Engel, R. S.,
McManus, H. D.,
Herold, T. D.
Does De‐Escalation Training Work? A Systematic Review and Call For Evidence in Police Use‐Of‐Force Reform.
Criminology & Public Policy, 19(3),