Date: 25 Aug 2009

Outcomes of Police Contacts with Persons with Mental Illness: The impact of CIT

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Abstract

The Crisis intervention team model (CIT) is possibly the most well known and widely adopted model to improve police response to persons with mental illness. A primary goal of CIT programs is to divert individuals with mental illness from the criminal justice system to mental health services. In this paper we examine the effectiveness of fielding CIT trained and supported officers for influencing call outcomes using data from patrol officers (n = 112) in four Chicago Police districts. Results from regression analysis indicate that CIT certified officers directed a greater proportion of persons with mental illness to mental health services than their Non-CIT certified peers. CIT did not have an immediate effect on arrest. Moderator analysis indicates that CIT had its biggest effect on increasing direction to services and decreasing "contact only" among officers who have a positive view of mental health services and who know a person with mental illness in their personal life. Additional moderators of the CIT effect on call outcomes include level of resistance and the presence of a weapon. Findings from this study have important implications for policy, practice and future research.

This data was provided by and belongs to the Chicago Police Department. Any further use of this data must be approved by the Chicago Police Department. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Chicago Police Department. Work supported by NIMH R34 MH081558. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIH.