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News and Announcements

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

A report  released in June by the Department of Justice finds that “there is no conclusive medical evidence…that indicates a high risk of serious injury or death from the direct effects of CED [conducted energy device] exposure.” The study is the interim report of an Office of Justice Programs panel on the “Study of Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption.” The panel reports that individuals who experience so-called “excited delirium,” a condition characterized by psychosis, agitation and high body temperature, may die from that condition and not necessarily as a result of the use of a CED, such as a Taser. The authors report that the safety of CEDs has not been studied in sensitive populations such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with heart disease. They also note that there have been some reports of deaths following continuous or repeated CED application, and that there is little data on the safety of repeated or continuous use of CEDs.

NAMI’s recently released policy on Application of Less Lethal Weapons is available online (see Section 8.9).  

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

NAMI’s CIT Center is happy to announce that it is accepting applications for a limited number of family and consumer scholarships for this fall’s CIT National Conference. Scholarships will cover the cost of registration and hotel (3 nights maximum)—scholarship recipients will be responsible for their own travel and other expenses. In order to be eligible, applicants must be a consumer or family member, must be a NAMI member, must be financially unable to fund their trip, and must submit a letter of support from their local NAMI affiliate or state organization. Click here  to download an application. If you have any questions, contact Laura Usher at or by calling 703-600-1109. The deadline for applications is September 2, 2008.

PowerPoint Presentations Available from NAMI Convention

The NAMI national convention in June featured a variety of speakers and workshops focused on criminal justice issues. Many of these presentations are now available on the NAMI website  for download, free of charge. Presentations that  may be of particular interest to CIT in Action readers include:

  • "CIT Special Networking Session," including presentations by Major Sam Cochran of the Memphis CIT program; Wendy Stewart of NAMI Cambria County and Lt. Dan Marguccio on the Laurel Highlands (PA) CIT program, and Lt. Jeffry Murphy of the Chicago PD and Suzanne Andrukaitis of NAMI Greater Chicago on the Chicago CIT program.
  • "Treatment Not Jail," which focused on the advocacy coalition and strategy that successfully pushed for  Florida’s Justice Reinvestment Act. Michele Saunders, of Florida Partners in Crisis, and Judge Mark Speiser, of the Broward County Felony Mental Health Court, presented.
  • "Building Diverse Coalitions that Get Results," featuring presentations by Alicia Woodsby, Criminal Justice Coordinator for NAMI Connecticut, and Major Sam Cochran of the Memphis CIT program.

In addition, audio CDs of NAMI convention sessions are available for purchase. Click here to download the order form.