Our nation’s jails, prisons, and community corrections agencies are confronted daily with substantial numbers of persons with mental illness in custody and under supervision. Mental illness in corrections demands an urgency of response, services, and care. Correctional staff have attempted to manage individuals suffering mental illness with varying degrees of success. In searching for meaningful methods of response, some agencies, in partnership with stakeholder communities, have implemented Crisis Intervention Teams (CITs).
CITs have matured from a law enforcement first responder model to new community partnerships with corrections. This team approach incorporates community, frontline law enforcement, and corrections agencies in a collaborative effort to address this growing problem. CITs are effective in enhancing correctional staffs’ knowledge and skills, aiding administrators in improved management and care for a special population, reducing liability and cost, improving community partnerships for increased access to resources and supports, and increasing safety for all.
Participants will be able to:
- Describe the core elements of CIT.
- Describe the benefits of CIT for correctional staff, community stakeholders, persons with mental illnesses, and local criminal justice and mental health agencies.
- Identify ways to sustain a systemwide CIT program supported by key stakeholders and active community involvement.
- Assess agency readiness to start a CIT program and identify resources for implementation.