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CIT in Action  

April 2008: Vol.3, Issue 4

Feature Story: CIT National Organization Created

Contributor: Ron Honberg

This month, the national CIT Advisory Group met in Atlanta and took the first steps toward the creation of a national organization dedicated to the promotion of CIT. The group is applying for non-profit status for a new organization, which will be called “CIT International,” in recognition of the existence of CIT programs in Australia, Canada and Europe.

The following individuals were elected as officers of the new organization.

Lt. Michael Woody (retired), Law Enforcement Liaison for the Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence, will be President.

Michele Saunders, Executive Director of Florida Partners in Crisis, will be the 1st Vice President.

Joseph Mucenski of Tucson, Arizona, who currently serves on the NAMI Board of Directors, will be 2nd Vice President.  

Victoria Cochran, JD, coordinator of the New River Valley, VA CIT program, will be the Secretary. 

Jim Dailey of Louisville, Kentucky who also serves on NAMI’s Board of Directors will be treasurer. 

Last but not last, Major Sam Cochran and Randy Dupont, Ph.D, the pioneers and for many years the driving forces behind Memphis’ nationally recognized CIT program, will serve as Co-Chairs of the new organization.

As CIT programs continue to proliferate nationally, one immediate priority for the new organization will be developing standards for these programs.  As Major Cochran has always emphasized, true CIT programs are “more than just training.”  They are collaborations between law enforcement, mental health systems, consumers, families and advocates to establish humane alternatives to arrest and incarceration for individuals who are in crisis and in need to treatment and supports, not punishment.  Although law enforcement training is laudable and very important, training in and of itself is not enough to facilitate these positive outcomes. 

NAMI supports the development of CIT International. Of prime importance to NAMI members is the role that NAMI will continue to play in promoting and implementing CIT around the country. Local NAMI affiliates and state organizations will continue as they always have – being key partners in hundreds of communities, providing a consumer and family voice. NAMI looks forward to working closely with CIT International on continuing the development of CIT as a truly international model.

Advocacy Spotlight: Funding for CIT

As part of the ongoing development of NAMI’s CIT Advocacy Toolkit, the NAMI CIT Center is working to address the questions that are often most pressing at the initiation of a CIT program: How much is it going to cost? And where do we get funding? To help answer these questions, we have developed several resources:

The Cost of CIT     
This guide to understanding the costs of running a CIT program asks readers to consider how partners in the community can contribute most of the needed components for a CIT program.

CIT Sample Training Budget 
A sample budget for a CIT training session.

Grant Writing Tips for CIT Programs 
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for CIT programs interested in searching for and applying for grant funding. The Resources section lists sources for more training in grant writing.

Examples of Successful Grant Applications for CIT 
Sometimes it is easiest to learn by example. Read some grant applications that have successfully secured funding for CIT programs.

CIT Grant Writing Templates

Most grant applications include similar components. These templates are designed to help grant writers applying for CIT funding answer common questions. You should always tailor templates to the needs of your program and the requirements of the funder. Whenever possible, you should also include local data and information.

Describing the Need for CIT  
This template is designed to help grant writers answer a question the question: What is the need? What is the nature of the problem?

Stay tuned for additional templates!

If you have any questions about these new resources, please contact Laura at

News and Announcements

Comprehensive Review of CIT Research Published

The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law published an article reviewing all available research on the effectiveness of CIT.  The article, entitled “A Comprehensive Review of Extant Research on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs,” was written by Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH, Masuma Bahora, MPH, Amy C. Watson, PhD and Janet R. Oliva, PhD. The authors find that existing research shows CIT is a promising practice for changing officer attitudes and diverting people with mental illnesses to treatment. However, the authors point out a need for more research into the diversion and treatment outcomes of CIT; most of the existing research is on officers rather than consumers. The authors also note a need for clear standards and definitions around the Memphis Model: the Memphis CIT program is well-studied, but those studies may not apply to other communities that have structured their programs differently than Memphis

An abstract of the article, as well as citation information, can be found at the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law website.

Florida Awards $8 Million in Reinvestment Grants

The Florida Department of Children and Families awarded $8 million in matching grants to Florida counties for mental health, and substance abuse treatment programs. The grants, funded by the state’s Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Reinvestment Program, fund county programs that provide mental health and substance abuse treatment for individuals at risk for involvement with the criminal justice system.  Projects funded include: creation of triage facilities, jail diversion programs, and mental health courts. A total of twelve planning grants and ten implementation grants were awarded, accounting for $8 million over three years. Counties receiving awards agree to match the state money. To learn more, visit the Florida Substance Abuse and Mental Health Corporation’s website. Click here to view a list of the awards.

Case Study of Georgia CIT Program Published

In March, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law published an article by Dr. Janet Oliva and Dr. Michael Compton that provides an overview of the Georgia CIT program. The article, entitled “A Statewide Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Initiative: Evolution of the Georgia CIT Program” reviews the history and implementation of the statewide CIT program in Georgia. By describing the collaborations created to implement CIT in Georgia, as well as the nuts and bolts operations of the program, the authors hope to provide a model for other states and communities interested in implementing CIT. An abstract of the article, as well as citation information, can be found at the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law website.

Helpful Links

2008 CIT National Conference

The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

University of Memphis CIT Website

Comments or Suggestions?

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