Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program

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Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) is a program aimed at reducing the risk of death or severe injury when law enforcers interact with mentally ill individuals during emergencies (NAMI, n.d.). The program has been adopted in various settings, both nationally and globally. The need for CIT was highlighted by an incident where police officers killed twenty-seven-year-old Dewayne Robinson due to a lack of appropriate skills to handle a mentally ill person.

Rodgers et al. (2019) analyze the outcomes and effectiveness of CIT. The article acknowledges that research on CIT and similar initiatives in both criminal justice and mental health spheres lacks uniformity due to the varying methods and technologies applied in different studies. Rodgers et al. (2019) reveal that CIT benefits police officers by impacting their self-perception and satisfaction of using less force. The article also points out that CIT facilitates referrals of prisoners to mental health facilities due to effective coordination. This aspect is associated with saving costs. This is because CIT can promote the early identification of mental health patients. Mild mental illness can be addressed through outpatient psychiatric referrals instead of costly inpatient mental health services. Therefore, CIT is a form of preventive care that minimizes future mental health medical expenses.

Ellis (2014) highlights the effect of CIT on police officers’ attitudes, perceptions, and knowledge of mental health. The article points out that law enforcers need to be trained to handle situations involving people with mental illnesses. Ellis (2014) argues that the lack of appropriate skills makes law enforcers use deadly or hurtful force, and CIT is the most suitable intervention to address the gap. The author conducted a study where he assessed twenty-five police officers. He analyzed the three main aspects through an explorative, quasi-experimental, and descriptive design. The study found that CIT improved perception attitude and knowledge among police officers. Ellis (2014) concluded that CIT benefits police officers, the public, psychiatric professionals, and all other stakeholders.

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