Evaluation of the first year of CPD Crisis Intervention Training focused on delinquent youth who suffer from mental illness
Previously, I have written about the Chicago Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Training. /2/post/2011/07/chicago-police-departments-crisis-intervention-training.html. The CIT training model was originally developed by the Memphis, Tennessee police department in conjunction with the National Alliance on Mental Illness as well as consumers on mental health services. The Chicago Police Department adopted the CIT training in 2004.
In 2009, the Chicago Police Department worked along with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Greater Chicago to develop a police training curriculum for officers who deal with the high percentage of mental illness among delinquent youth. As Executive Director of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, I invited now retired Lieutenant Jeff Murphy of the Chicago Police Department to present information on the training curriculum.
In 2010, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority provided NAMI of Greater Chicago with an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund twelve CIT youth training sessions, four sessions per year for three years. In the first year, 126 Chicago police officers received that training, all of whom had previously received basic CIT training beforehand. The CIT youth program is a five day, 40 hour course which teaches officers to recognize symptoms of youth mental disorders, assess risk levels of youth for hurting themselves or others, de-escalation techniques, and, if appropriate, diverting youth to community-based mental health treatment.
The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority just published an evaluation of the first year of training. https://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/pdf/ResearchReports/CIT_Year1_July_2012.pdf The Authority found that participants were pleased with the training and had applied learned techniques in their work. Many trainees suggested creating a CIT youth unit within the Chicago Police Department as well as expansion of the curriculum to include appropriate responses to uncooperative adults who deal with such youth.
It remains to be seen how the full three years of funded training will impact Chicago delinquent youth who suffer from mental illness. The training is a welcome addition to help such youth.