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News and Announcements: May 2012

NAMI Convention Preview: Sustaining CIT 

From maintaining excitement and commitment with community partners, to planning effective evaluations and ensuring fidelity to the training model, CIT requires a sustained commitment. Join us during the CIT Networking Session at the 2012 NAMI National Convention to provide your feedback about the common challenges to sustaining effective CIT programs over the long haul. Experienced CIT leaders will have the opportunity to share the challenges they have faced and brainstorm about strategies for responding to those challenges. Those new to CIT will learn strategies for planning for a sustainable program from day one. NAMI members will have the opportunity to consult and brainstorm with other grassroots leaders, as well as national experts from the NAMI CIT Center, the University of Memphis, CIT International and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The session will be Friday June 29 at 4:30 p.m. at the 2012 NAMI National Convention in Seattle.

New Virtual Learning Community from SAMHSA's GAINS Center

SAMHSA’s GAINS Center has created a new virtual learning community to foster conversation, information sharing, and dialogue among mental health and criminal justice professionals. The virtual learning community includes discussion boards on topics such as peer integration, veterans, specialty courts, women, reentry, jail diversion, co-occurring disorders and more. 

Re-entry Programs Effective, Study Says

The U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has released a study of data collected from an evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). SVORI is a federal initiative that funds a number of locally-designed juvenile and adult reentry programs, which are designed to improve outcomes for individuals re-entering the community after prison. The study showed a reduction in re-arrests for ex-offenders enrolled in the program and a cost savings of more than $3500 per person. However, study authors say more work needs to be done to determine which should be offered, and in what sequence, to improve outcomes like housing, employment and drug use. For more information, download the study.

CIT International Conference: Las Vegas Bound!

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department along with NAMI Southern Nevada will be hosting the 2012 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International Conference August 20-21, 2012 at the South Point Hotel and Casino in fabulous Las Vegas. This conference presents an unparalleled opportunity to learn, understand, develop, and expand the CIT programs within your community. The conference program includes exhibits, general session and more than 90 workshops. Conference registration includes a dinner and tribute show to the “Rat Pack.” You will be amazed as Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin are brought to life again in one unforgettable performance!

The South Point Hotel and Casino is one of the newest hotels on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip and is offering a special room rate of $55.00 a night. For general conference information, conference registration and hotel reservations, please visit us at If you would like to become an exhibitor or sponsor for this conference please contact Detective John Turchetto of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at (702) 828-3255 or

Congress Learns Benefits of Supporting Criminal Justice/Mental Health Partnerships

In March, NAMI and other national organizations co-hosted a briefing for Congressional staff on the importance of supporting local criminal justice/mental health collaborations. Speakers, including Dr. Fred Osher of the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County (MD) Department of Police, Inspector Bryan Schafer of the Minneapolis (MN) Police Department, and Judge Steven Leifman of Miami-Dade County Court, shared the success of local programs designed to reduce criminalization of people with mental illness. The emphasized the key role that federal grant programs, including the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTCRA) grants play in supporting these programs. The briefing was hosted by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Al Franken (D-MN) and sponsored by the Council of State Governments (CSG), with support from  NAMI, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the National Association of Counties, and Mental Health America.