Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training for Corrections

Award Amount
Maximum Amount
Assistance Type
Funding Source
Implementing Entity
Due Date
Where the Opportunity is Offered
All of California
Eligible Applicant
Additional Eligibility Information
NIC invites applications from nonprofit organizations (including faith-based, community, and tribal organizations), for-profit organizations (including tribal for-profit organizations), and institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education). Recipients, including for-profit organizations, must agree to waive any profit or fee for services. Foreign governments, international organizations, and non-governmental international organizations/institutions are not eligible to apply. Proof of 501(c)(3) status as determined by the Internal Revenue Service or an authorizing tribal resolution is required.NIC welcomes applications that involve two or more entities; however, one eligible entity must be the applicant and the others must be proposed as subrecipients. The applicant must be the entity with primary responsibility for administering the funding and managing the entire program. Only one application will be accepted from a submitting organization.
Cameron D Coblentz

With the closure of state hospitals beginning in the 1970s and shrinking resources in many communities, a large and disproportionate number of seriously mentally ill individuals were diverted from medical facilities and placed under correctional custody and supervision. The trend continues. Researchers today document serious mental illness in 15% of incarcerated men and 31% of incarcerated women. These rates are in excess of three to six times those found among the general public. The magnitude of untreated mental illness is revealed in the numbers and the consequences. These individuals are more likely to experience suicide, victimization, violence and unpredictable crises. Crisis intervention teams (CITs) for law enforcement originated in Memphis, Tennessee, in the late 1980s after a deadly tragedy involving a person with serious mental illness. The community came together in the aftermath with the police director and the mayor of Memphis to find an effective way for officers to respond to people with mental illness in crisis. The model they created takes a team approach and engages community stakeholders, including corrections, local mental health agencies, family advocacy groups, and others, in a collaborative response to manage and support justice-involved persons with mental illness. Typically, when a correctional facility is faced with an individual in crisis, the first reaction is to call upon a specialized operations response team (SORT), or its equivalent, for a swift response and resolution. Correctional leaders, community members, and mental health advocates agree that first responders’ speedy response is necessary for facility safety and security. However, if force is used, the response can have unfortunate consequences, such as the injury of incarcerated individuals, staff injury, and/or property damage. CIT training is the bridge to narrowing the gap between use of force and first response mental health service by providing frontline staff with the skills and competencies they need to handle potentially dangerous individuals experiencing crises. Additionally, it includes training for officers regarding behavioral health issues and educates community members about the role and needs of correctional and detention staff, so both sides can collaborate effectively enough to benefit both incarcerated individuals and their families. In 2010, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) formally introduced CIT training to correctional agencies. The CIT Training for Corrections program applies to both jails and prisons and focuses on building an agency’s capacity to implement a sustainable, locally administered CIT Training for Corrections program. From December 2010 to March 2014, NIC implemented a multi-phase operation to offer CIT training throughout the country. During phase I, staff representing nineteen jail systems, twenty state departments of correction, and one team from U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services were trained in the tenets of CIT for corrections. Participants were assembled in three-person teams (mental health advocate, operations executive, and behavioral health clinician) and encouraged to take the information learned back to their respective agencies to plan the implementation of a locally administered CIT Training for Corrections program

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