National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from
(800) 950-NAMI;

CIT in Action # 7

1.   NAMI, Consensus Project, and PERF Embark on New Research Initiative: Become a Part of our National Database!

2.   Participate in the GAINS TAPA Center’s Free Net/Tele-Conference about Jail Diversion!

3.   NAMI California’s Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Community Project

4.   Milwaukee CIT Team Receives National Coverage

5.   Oklahoma CIT Program in the News

6.    Useful Links

1.  NAMI, Consensus Project, and PERF Embark on New Research Initiative:   Become a Part of our National Database!

NAMI, Criminal Justice / Mental Health Consensus Project, and Police Excellence Research Forum (PERF),are pleased to announce a new research project aimed toward collecting national information aboutlaw enforcement/mental health initiatives operating throughout the country. Through your participation; information about your program will be stored in a searchable online database maintained by the Consensus Project in partnership with the National GAINS Center. The database will provide a tool for communities considering developing a specialized response program or evaluating an existing program; researchers whose work improves understanding of and generates interest in such programs; as well as funders and national organizations who provide resources and assistance around this issue. With your help, the database will represent the field's most highly-detailed and comprehensive inventory of all types of criminal justice/mental health programs. We ask for only one survey per program. Please feel free to forward this to the most appropriate person to respond on behalf of your program.  Survey results will be available online once the Consensus Project/GAINS database is launched this spring.To participate in this survey, please follow this link:

If you have questions, you may contact Bonnie Sultan at NAMI National at

2. Participate in the GAINS TAPA Center’s Free Net/Tele-Conference about Jail  Diversion!

Be a part of the Free Easy Access conference on Monday March 27 from 2:00-3:30 PM (Eastern Time) for an overview of jail diversion programs serving people with mental illness in rural communities. Participants will listen to the live presentation through a toll-free telephone line while viewing the corresponding PowerPoint slides via the internet. Discussion will be focused on the challenges and opportunities encountered by rural communities that seek to develop appropriate responses to people with mental illness in contact with the criminal justice system, as well as the innovative solutions that have been implemented. Presenters for this Net/Teleconference will be Colleen Chamberlain, LSW, M. Ed, Director of Planning and Evaluation for the Brown County (OH) Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services, Amy Forsyth-Stephens, MSW, Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley (VA), and Victoria Huber Cochran, JD, Chair, Virginia State Mental Health Board. For more information on how to register for this event, please visit:

3.   NAMI California’s Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Community Project

January 26, 2006 marked an important day for six California Bay Area counties. Law enforcement and mental health professionals from Contra Costa, Haywood, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara came together to discuss current program initiatives. Issues included a history of Mental Health Courts and the Law in California, Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), the San Francisco Jail Psychiatric Services and Jail Aftercare, Restorative Policing, Proposition 63, and the Mental Health/Criminal Justice Consensus Project. With information sharing comes knowledge, power, and change. The second phase of this summit included a discussion on how each representative will advance their projects as well as develop new initiatives. Some participants plan to develop mental health courts in their area while others will invest in CIT programs. We commend NAMI California and colleague organizations taking part in this project and their plans to continue improving law enforcement and mental health collaborations.

For more information, please contact Sharon Roth of NAMI California at

4.   Milwaukee CIT Team Receives National Coverage

Mental Health Weekly published an article on January 30, 2006 discussing the success of the Milwaukee CIT team. The CIT team is made possible through collaboration between the police, NAMI- Greater Milwaukee, the University of Tennessee Medical School, and the University of Memphis. The first CIT course culminated in the graduation of 30 officers, as well as 4 supervisors and 4 SWAT team members. CIT in Milwaukee was born out of local NAMI members learning about the program at the National NAMI conference. Michelle Czuba, the executive director of NAMI- Greater Milwaukee, was quoted in this recent coverage in her discussion of the need for de-escalation, program goals, and the continuation of care. “By de-escalating we mean keeping everyone safe: the person in crisis, family members, the community at large and the officers responding. Additionally, the goal is to make appropriate referrals- for example, offering an alternative to costly involuntary commitment in a mental health hospital or incarceration.” An interesting and important aspect to this program is the emphasis on the continuation of care for consumers who come in contact with law enforcement. While talking about the follow-up process in the Milwaukee CIT program, Czuba explains that several days after the intervention, “a member of NAMI- Greater Milwaukee will follow-up with the consumer and/or family member to find out how things are going and to get their perspective of how the situation was handled. We view our program as a work in progress and have built in many opportunities for evaluation, feedback, and quality assurance.”   To learn more about this program and their national coverage, please contact Michelle Czuba at or Sandra Pasch, the NAMI-Greater Milwaukee President emeritus, at

5.  Oklahoma CIT Program in the News

Lt. Robert Cornelison of the Oklahoma Midwest City Police Department (MWCPD) was recently published in the periodical Chief to Chief: Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police. The article advocates for CIT and community collaboration for successful police/consumer encounters. The MWCPD CIT program began in June of 2004 through a partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health/Crisis Center, consumers, and family members. Lt. Cornelison stresses that de-escalation, compassion, and patients are key components to a successful CIT program. In discussing the success of the MWCPD CIT team, Lt. Cornelison says that as well as immediate crisis response, "rrest and use of force can be decreased; and injuries during crisis events may decline."Perhaps most importantly, CIT gives consumers a sense of safety and assurance. Since the program’s implementation, family members and consumers calling 911 for assistance have begun to specifically ask for a CIT officer. To date, the MWCPD has 100 CIT sworn officers as well as more than 20 commissioned officers and jail workers.

For more information on this program or publication, please contact Lt. Cornelison at

6.  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.

Connecticut Crisis Intervention Teams 

An excellent resource for Connecticut residents and nonresidents alike. The site offers training information, posts, and articles with information concerning the implementation and sustainability of CIT.

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,