SOUTH FLORIDA CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM (CIT) POLICING WEBSITE CONTENT INFORMATION

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1 SOUTH FLORIDA CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM (CIT) POLICING I. CIT Mission WEBSITE CONTENT INFORMATION To make jail the last resort for people with mental illnesses by diverting them to community-based treatment and services when appropriate To provide linkages to comprehensive treatment and services II. CIT Program Overview Based on the Memphis CIT Model, CIT in Miami-Dade County aims to prevent persons with mental illness from ever entering the criminal justice system by improving access to appropriate community treatment services. CIT originated in Memphis, Tennessee after an unnecessary fatal encounter occurred between police and a person with mental illness. CIT is made up of uniformed police officers, who receive special training on how to deal with individuals who may be in crisis due to mental illness. Instead of taking individuals in crisis to County mental health facilities, police officers without the proper training often arrest them, thus leading them into the revolving door of the criminal justice system, or, worse escalate the situation into a violent encounter. CIT requires that trained officers respond to calls for law enforcement that may involve persons with mental illnesses. Once at the scene, CIT officers evaluate the situation, and if needed de-escalate and transport individuals suffering from a mental illness to appropriate mental health facilities for evaluation, treatment, and referrals, instead of subjecting them to immediate arrest when appropriate. In keeping with the Memphis model, CIT officers are volunteer patrol officers who offer twenty-four hour coverage for their jurisdiction. Officers go through a department screening process before they begin CIT training. CIT officers complete a forty-hour course, which includes sessions on mental illness, substance abuse, psychotropic medication, civil commitment law, patient rights, and non-lethal techniques for crisis intervention. Interactive components to training, which include role-playing exercises, interaction with consumers, families, and advocates, and visits to local crisis stabilization facilities are also incorporated. III. CIT Training Overview Purpose: The purpose of CIT training is to provide law enforcement officers with specialized training to help them respond more effectively to persons living with mental illnesses who are in crisis.

2 Methods: Each training class encompasses 40-hours of instruction including a combination of didactic and interactive components, and is limited to participants. Instructors consist of volunteer agencies and experts from the local community. Goals: The goals of CIT training are to help law enforcement officers: Develop increased sensitivity to and understanding of issues related to mental illnesses. Recognize issues of related to mental illnesses as deserving of special needs. Understand viewpoints and feelings of persons living with mental illnesses. Recognize common behaviors associated with mental illnesses. Develop a humane approach that preserves individuals dignity and rights. Use basic responding skills to control a situation. Reduce likelihood of physical confrontations. Identify options and resources available to help resolve a crisis. Gain competence and confidence in responding to persons living with mental illnesses who are in crisis. IV. CIT Curriculum INTRODUCTION TO MENTAL ILLNESS AND DISORDERS ASSESSMENT OF THE SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL ILLNESS HEARING VOICES: UNDERSTANDING AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES NON-VIOLENT CRISIS INTERVENTION FLORIDA MENTAL HEALTH LAWS: UPDATE TOUR OF DADE COUNTY PRE-TRIAL DETENTION CENTER MENTAL HEALTH OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENCE SUICIDE ASSESSMENT CONSUMER FORUM PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATIONS COMMUNITY RESOURCES CO-OCCURRING DISORDERS TACTICAL DEPLOYMENT OF CIT TEAM CASE STUDIES V. Frequently Asked Questions What is Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Policing? CIT is made up of local police officers designated to respond to crisis situations involving persons with possible mental health problems. CIT officers receive 40 hours of specialized training on how to deal with individuals who are in crisis due to a mental illness.

3 What is the goal of CIT? The goal of CIT policing is to make jail the last resort when appropriate by diverting individuals with mental illnesses from the criminal justice system to the mental health system, and providing a linkage to comprehensive care. What does a CIT officer do? CIT officers respond to crisis calls involving possible mental health issues. They evaluate the situation, and if needed de-escalate and transport individuals manifesting signs and symptoms of mental illnesses to appropriate receiving facilities for evaluation, treatment, and referrals, instead of subjecting them to immediate arrest when appropriate. When do I call for a CIT officer? It is appropriate to call for a CIT officer when you suspect there is an immediate mental health crisis situation. What do I do if I need immediate help or have a mental health emergency? In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1, state the emergency involves a person with possible mental illness, and request a CIT officer respond to the scene. If your community does not currently have a CIT program implemented, call 9-1-1, and inform the dispatcher the emergency involves a person with possible mental illness. What do I do if this is not an emergency, but still need help? If you do not have an emergency, you can call The Children s Trust Helpline for appropriate referrals for social services. Do I have CIT in my area? To date, the following police departments have received CIT training: City of Miami North Miami Miami Beach Aventura Miami-Dade County South Miami Pinecrest Key Biscayne North Miami Beach Surfside Miami Shores Florida International University Police Hialeah Sunny Isles Coral Gables Opalocka Homestead Sweetwater Miami-Dade School Police If I do not have an emergency, how can I get more information about CIT?

4 If you do not have an emergency and you would like more detailed information about CIT in your area please contact the Jail Diversion Program Director at (305) Monday-Friday 8AM to 5PM, or VI. Positive Outcomes of CIT Reduction in police/citizen injury rate Reduction in police/citizen shooting Decline in arrests and use of force for individuals with mental illness Reduction in time it takes officers to return to patrol Reduction in recidivism rate for persons with mental illnesses Increased access to mental health treatment interventions for persons with mental illnesses VII. Fact Sheet An estimated 17 million adults in the United States suffer from a serious mental illness and approximately 3% have a severe and persistent mental illness (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). Less than half of individuals with a mental illness seek treatment (National Institute of Mental Health, 2005). 7.94% of Florida residents suffer from a serious mental illness (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). 9.1% of Miami-Dade County residents have a serious and persistent mental illness. Over 200,000 of the population in Miami-Dade County are seriously impaired with severe and persistent mental health disorders. Miami-Dade County is home to one of the largest urban communities with the highest percentage of people affected by mental illnesses in the United States. The number of people with mental illnesses in jails more than tripled between 1955 and In fact, according to a national jail census, mental illness in jail has increased by 119% (Walsh & Holt, 1999). 15% of all individuals in jails have a major mental disorder (Walsh & Holt, 1999). In Florida alone, law enforcement initiates 34% more involuntary psychiatric examinations than arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) (Miami-Dade County Grand Jury, 2005). Additionally, approximately one-hundred cases per day are sent by police officers to psychiatric emergency rooms for involuntary examination in Miami-Dade County (Miami-Dade County Grand Jury, 2005). VIII. Helpful Community Resources Mobile Crisis Team: (305) or (305) An outreach service that provides mobile crisis intervention and assessment for adults 24 hours a day

5 2-1-1 The Children s Trust Helpline Dial for information and referrals to social services and to receive crisis counseling is available to youth and families 24/7 in English, Spanish and Creole. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: TALK For help during a suicidal crisis Homeless Helpline: HELP Assistance offered if you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless Ex-Parte Order: (305) Miami-Dade County Courthouse 73 West Flagler Street, Suite # 234, Miami, Florida For court assistance in obtaining an involuntary psychiatric examination for a person with mental illness. Chapter 394 of the Florida Statute (Baker Act) allows for a petition for Emergency Admission on Ex-Parte Order. The Ex-Parte Order is based on the behavioral criteria that the person may be harmful to himself or others. If the person meets these criteria, then the Judge signs the Emergency Admission Order. Certified copies of the order are given to the petitioner with instructions to give them to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in their area. This gives the agency the authority to take the individual to a receiving facility to be evaluated. Central Intake Unit: (305) Northwest 22 Avenue Miami, Florida To get help for a relative with an alcohol or drug problem The Central Intake Unit of the Office of Rehabilitative Services under the Department of Human Services assists with filing involuntary petitions for both alcohol and drug abuse. IX. Related Links National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI): (national site) (local site) (Florida state site) Florida Department of Children & Families Mental Health Services: Switchboard of Miami

6 The Children s Trust United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA): National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Memphis CIT Program X. Contacts Honorable Steve Leifman, Associate Administrative Judge Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida 1351 NW 12 th Street, Room 617 Miami, FL (305) Alina Perez-Sheppe, MA County Court Mental Health Project Coordinator Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida 1351 NW 12 th Street, Room 104 Miami, FL (305) Cindy Schwartz, MS, MBA Jail Diversion Program Director Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida 1351 NW 12 th Street, Room 226 Miami, FL (305)

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