Get Involved in NAMI and Support Justice Reform
- Join NAMI and volunteer at your local NAMI Affiliate. Most successful justice reform efforts happen at the state and local level. NAMI Affiliates need people who can answer phones, make legal referrals, provide information and support to individuals and families, as well as volunteer teachers and presenters for NAMI’s education and support programs.
- Donate to support our efforts.
- Sign up for advocacy alerts. We’ll email you when urgent issues come before Congress and tell you how you can help.
- Share your story. If you or your loved one have been involved in the justice system or have benefited from crisis intervention teams or other jail diversion programs, send us your story for NAMI’s You Are Not Alone Project.
- Help start a CIT program, support your local CIT program or get involved with other local community programs to reform the way the justice system responds to people living with mental illness.
- Become an In Our Own Voice speaker and tell your story to police officers, mental health providers and others who work in criminal justice.
- Work with your NAMI Affiliate to offer the NAMI Connection support group or NAMI Peer-to-Peer education program to individuals involved in a local mental health court or probation or parole program.
- Work with your NAMI Affiliate leader, local schools, mental health providers and law enforcement to start a CIT for Youth program in your community.
Other Ways to Support Justice Reform in your Community
- Find out whether there is an existing criminal justice/mental health collaboration group (e.g. a regular gathering of advocates, criminal justice leaders and service providers interested in mental health and justice reform) in your community and if so, offer your assistance and input.
- If you or a loved one have been involved in the justice system, visit your state legislator, mayor, police chief or other local leader and share your story.
- Volunteer to mentor a veteran in your local Veteran’s Treatment Court.
- Volunteer to present during CIT training. Find CIT programs near you.
- Look for a law enforcement agency, court, school or other community agency doing a good job of keeping people with mental illness out of the justice system, and promote their work by writing a thank you letter or a letter to the editor.