Crisis Intervention Team Program

Building partnerships between law enforcement, behavioral health clinicians, and advocates with lived experience

The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community partnership of law enforcement, mental health and addiction professionals, individuals who live with mental illness and/or addiction disorders, their families, and other advocates. The program trains first responder police on crisis intervention to help individuals with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders (SUDs) access behavioral health services rather than entering the criminal justice system. The CIT program promotes safety for both the individual in crisis and the officer responding.

The model was first developed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1988, and is widely implemented across the country. CIT programs integrate community collaboration, accessible crisis systems, 40-hour training curriculum for law enforcement and other first responders, behavioral health staff training, and direct participation by people with lived experience.

CIT International establishes recommended standards for CIT programs and engages stakeholders across the country.

Massachusetts Crisis Intervention Teams

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has provided grant funding for local police-based jail diversion programs (JDP) since 2007. The CIT model has been an increasingly popular program for many grant applicants. DMH recommends police departments train a minimum of 20% of their patrol and command personnel and that the training is voluntary. DMH also recommends that there are CIT-trained personnel available on each shift. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, DMH began supporting a Crisis Intervention Team Training & Technical Assistance Center (CIT-TTAC) to create hubs for CIT development across a region.

408

Officers trained in CIT in FY2017.

5,000

Incidents and behavioral health crises to which police departments that received DMH JDP grants responded.

85%

Of the 1,000 incidents where the person responded to could have been criminally charged, officers were able to divert the person from criminal charges.

$3-4,000

Savings per visit to hospital Emergency Rooms, realized through pre-arrest, police-based diversion programs by decreasing unnecessary visits to Emergency Rooms.

$2,046,400

Estimated cost savings in first 4 months of FY2018.