National Alliance on Mental Illness
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CIT In Action – Vol. 1, No. 4

1.  NAMI Speaks Out On the Miami Tragedy

2.  Major Sam Cochran of the Memphis Police Department Appears on NPR!

3.  Funding Given to CIT Program in Connecticut

4.   First Annual Minnesota CIT Conference!

5.   Charlotte County Florida Graduates First Mental Health Court Participant

6.   Mental Health Care Funding In California Progresses

7.   NAMI Ohio Publishes a Review of Programs

8.   Useful Links

1.   NAMI Speaks Out On the Miami Tragedy

Many of you have probably already seen NAMI’s statement about the tragic shooting several weeks ago of a man with bipolar disorder by U.S. air marshals at the Miami airport.  The statement acknowledges the very difficult job that these marshals have but asks the Federal Air Marshal Service and all other law enforcement agencies to “take a close look at (their) training and education protocols and, if currently lacking, adopt measures to prepare officers to respond effectively and appropriately to people with severe mental illnesses.”

The hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the country that have adopted CIT programs almost universally report that their officers are far better prepared to respond effectively to people in crisis.  CIT is about saving lives – the lives of people in crisis and the lives of officers responding to them. 

NAMI’s statement can be found at

2. Major Sam Cochran of the Memphis Police Department Appears on NPR!


On December 13th, Major Sam Cochran, the creator and long-time coordinator of the Memphis CIT program, appeared on NPR’s ‘Talk of the Nation’ program. The entire program was focused on the Miami tragedy.  Major Cochran’s interview with ‘Talk of the Nation’ host Neal Conan addressed CIT training for first responders and allowed for listeners to ask Major Cochran about CIT and how it can aid in the reduction of both responder and consumer injuries and deaths. For more information about this interview, please visit:

3.   Funding Given to CIT Program in Connecticut

NAMI Connecticut, the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE), and the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services have partnered together to form a multiple community CIT pilot program. Funding for the program, called “The Connecticut Model”, was made available by The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The program, currently being implemented in Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury, New London, and West Haven, involves a true partnership between law enforcement and mental health.  Licensed mental health clinicians on mobile crisis teams partner with CIT officers to respond to people in crisis.  In this model, mental health clinicians follow up every CIT call promptly to assess the care needed. According to Louise Pyers of NAMI Connecticut, continuity of care is crucial to ensure that “consumers do not slip through the cracks”.  It is hoped that positive results attained through this four year pilot will lead to the eventual adoption of this program on a statewide basis.  For more information about this program, please contact Louise Pyers, President of CABLE and the NAMI Connecticut Children’s Outreach Coordinator at (800)215-3021 ext 24 or Or, visit the following websites:  and

4.   First Annual Minnesota CIT Conference!

The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) currently has 103 sworn CIT officers and is looking to expand their trainings to law enforcement officers across the state.

The Barbara Schneider Foundation (BSF) and the MPD have joined together to announce the first annual Minnesota CIT conference to be held February 28- March 3, 2006. Day one of the event is a conference that encourages all interested parties to come together and discuss the need for CIT as well as the intersection of law enforcement and mental health. The conference will include presenters addressing consumer needs, officer safety, de-escalation techniques, and more. This day long conference will serve as the first day of a 40 hour CIT training for police officers. Training will be submitted to Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.)for review. For more information about how to enroll, please contact Mark Anderson at BSF at  or Officer Paul Gillies, the MPD CIT Coordinator, at

5.  Charlotte County Florida Graduates First Mental Health Court Participant

Mr. John Lutz recently became the first graduate of the Charlotte County Florida Mental Health Court. The court was established one year ago for misdemeanor offenders with mental illnesses. The court gives the opportunity for treatment instead of incarceration. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department estimates 20 percent of the inmates in county jail have some form of mental illness. The Mental Health Court currently has 14 participants, but aims to enroll 30-40 offenders. Current participants of the court formed the “Open Door” group; a mutual support group for consumers involved with the court. Congratulations to Mr. Lutz and the dedicated individuals at the Charlotte County Florida Mental Health Court. For more information, please visit:  and

6.   Mental Health Care Funding In California Progresses

In 2004, California voters passed a landmark initiative, known as Proposition 63 that imposes a one percent tax on taxable income in excess of one million dollars and channels those funds into public mental health services.  Each California county is responsible for developing plans for how it will spend these resources.  Santa Clara County plans to spend some of its Proposition 63 dollars on mental health services designed to help prevent the unnecessary criminalization of juveniles and adults with mental illnesses. The priority groups for services identified by the county include children involved in the juvenile justice system, children and adults with serious mental illnesses, homeless individuals with mental illnesses (many of whom cycle in and out of jail) and adults 60 years of age or older with mental illnesses.  Nancy Pena, the Director of the mental health department, believes that the services funded through Proposition 63 will “transform the system”. For more information, please visit: 

7. NAMI Ohio Publishes a Review of Programs

NAMI Ohio has released a study of law enforcement/mental health programs. The study entitled, “The Mentally Ill and the Criminal Justice System: A Review of Programs”, discusses Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), CIT, post-arrest diversion programs, mental health courts, and other outreach programs in Ohio. The study includes outcomes data. One interesting finding concerning CIT training is that officer and consumer interaction is reported “to be one of the most important parts of training.”  Other findings pertinent to CIT include fewer injuries of officers and consumers and a reduction in jail time for persons with mental illnesses. For more information, please visit:

8. Useful Links

The Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (CJ/CCoE):
Established in May 2001 to promote jail diversion alternatives for people with mental illness throughout Ohio.

The Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project:
A repository of information about all aspects of jail diversion, reentry, and enhanced treatment for offenders with mental illness.

U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance: 
Administers federal mental health courts program, provides resources and information for jail diversion, publications and reports, information about federal funding sources.

The National Gains Center: 
Focused  on expanding access to community based services for adult's diagnosed with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders at all points of contact with the justice system.

Police Executive Research Forum (PERF):
Information about criminal justice and mental health, community policing and other relevant information).

The Reentry Policy Council:
Bipartisan recommendations for successful prisoner reentry practices. This comprehensive report is beneficial as it recommends reentry strategies that reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Administers federal jail diversion grant program, resource information, publications, and other helpful information about criminal justice and mental health.


Your Feedback and Information is Needed!

We are also eager to hear from you about news or stories we can include for future issues of CIT in Action. Send your comments or ideas to Bonnie Sultan,