National Alliance on Mental Illness
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CIT in Action

July 2008: Vol. 3, Issue 7

Feature Story: NAMI Indiana Correctional Training: Improving Safety for Inmates with Mental Illnesses

Contributor: Kellie Meyer

As part of our effort to address the needs of people with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system, NAMI Indiana has developed a 10-hour program to educate correctional officers about mental illness and provide them with practical skills for working with people with mental illnesses. By teaching correctional staff about mental illness, we prepare them to better understand and more effectively communicate with inmates with mental illness, and thus enhance their personal safety.  We have trained more than 1700 correctional staff in Indiana and 247 from Kentucky.

The training has improved working and living conditions tremendously for both correctional staff and for inmates living with mental illnesses.   Use of force by correctional officers who were trained has decreased by as much as 70%. (more… )

Advocacy Spotlight: Supreme Court Decision may Enhance Fairness in Criminal Cases Involving Defendants with Serious Mental Illnesses

Contributor: Ron  Honberg

On June 19, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in which it held that a higher standard must be used to determine the competence of defendants to represent themselves in criminal cases than to determine the competence of defendants to stand trial.  The decision in Indiana v. Edwards can be found  here.  Although the implications of the decision are somewhat limited, NAMI believes that it represents a positive step towards the goal of ensuring greater fairness in criminal cases in which the mental illness of the defendant is at issue.   (more… )

News and Announcements

Report Shows Low Risk of Death and Serious Injury from Less Lethal Weapons

NAMI Accepting Applications for Consumer and Family Scholarships for CIT National Conference

PowerPoint Presentations Available from NAMI Convention

Comments and Suggestions

Please let us know what you think we should include in future editions of CIT in Action by emailing Laura Usher at

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