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CIT in Action

February 2014

Ask A Cop: What Should I Say When I Call 911 for a Loved One?

No one wants to call the police in a crisis. If you have to, it's important to be prepared  and know what to say to help ensure a safe outcome. Read More>>

Help for Veterans Involved in the Justice System

Too many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are facing mental health and substance abuse issues. Many wind up in the criminal justice system instead of getting the help they need. Read More>> 

Helping Families in the Juvenile Justice System: The Arlington CSB Court Liaison

Too many youth wind up in the juvenile justice system for the sole purpose of accessing mental health services and supports. A new program in Arlington, Va. is helping these youth and their families earlier.  Read More>>

NAMI Affiliates Play a Key Role in the Success of CIT

As NAMI members have helped start hundreds of CIT programs in communities nationwide, they have learned a lot about what makes a successful CIT program, and the key role NAMI Affiliates can play.  Read More>>

News and Announcements

Study Shows Treatment Reduces Arrests and Saves Money

A study published in Psychiatric Services journal shows that outpatient mental health treatment and long-term access to medication reduced arrests of people with serious mental illness and saved money. The study tracked medication, outpatient treatment, arrests and associated costs for Florida Medicaid recipients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The study showed that it is especially important for people leaving hospitalization to have a 90 day supply of medication to prevent future arrests.

Court Rules South Carolina Prisons Abused and Neglected Prisoners with Mental Illness

A judge in South Carolina ruled in January that prisoners with serious mental illness in the state's prisons had suffered serious abuse and neglect. Prisons failed to provide medication, access to mental health providers and screening and routinely place people with serious mental illness in solitary confinement and restraints. The ruling also stated that prisoners have died because of lack of crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, and many others have suffered profound physical and mental harm.  The lawsuit on behalf of prisoners was filed in 2005, suggesting the abuse has been going on for at least a decade.  To learn more, read the series of articles in the Atlantic magazine, and judge's ruling.

Cook County Jail Featured in the New York Times 

The Cook County (Ill.) Jail is often referred to as one of the nation’s largest mental health facilities, because of the huge number of inmates with serious mental health illness. Conditions in the jail, and the efforts of Sheriff Tom Dart to speak out against incarcerating people with mental illness, were featured in a story by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Start Planning Now for the CIT International Conference

The 2014 CIT International Conference will be October 13-15 in Monterey, Ca. The conference brings together law enforcement, mental health providers, NAMI members and others working on CIT programs around the country and the world. Registration and the call for workshop proposals are open. The deadline to submit a proposal is April 30th.Visit the conference website to learn more!

IACP Launches Mental Health Initiative

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently launched a Presidential Initiative on Mental Health of Arrestees and how it Impacts our Officers.  Mental health was identified by IACP President Yost Zakhary as priority, and in initiative hopes  to increase the safety of individuals with mental health issues and the police officers they come in contact with. The initiative will result in a plenary session the 2014 IACP Conference and resources for police chiefs on mental health. NAMI is participating as an adviser.

New Resources on Health and Justice Information Sharing

A new website developed by Justice and Health Connect provides resources on information sharing between health care and justice systems. The site can help justice agencies identify people needing access to mental health services and save money by connecting people with health coverage.

The Arc Launches National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability 

The Arc, a national intellectual and developmental disability advocacy organization, has recently launched the National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability.  This is the first national effort of its kind to address both victim and suspect/offender issues involving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities under one roof.  The goal of the project is to create a national clearinghouse of information and technical assistance on issues facing individuals with these disabilities who come in contact with the justice system. The project will include a series of 20 webinars for professionals and advocates. NAMI is a partner with The Arc on this project.