Public policy significantly impacts crisis intervention organizations as it provides rules and guidelines for efficient decision-making. Institutions, governments, and experts in various fields cooperate, developing procedures, enhancing public administration, and improving the quality of life for citizens. In particular, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model was created to strengthen communities’ safety, provide mental health resources to people in crisis, and enhance communication (“What is CIT?,” n.d.). This program is solution-oriented, allowing for sustainable change in society. This paper aims to analyze the CIT public policy and its impact on crisis intervention organizations and strategies.
Public Policy Analysis
It is essential to analyze public policy and identify its core elements and primary goals. The 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” (“What is CIT?,” n.d., para. 1). It was created in 1988 following the principles of the Memphis Model (“What is CIT?,” n.d., para. 6). The CIT program aims to increase public safety by helping those in need instead of placing them into the criminal justice system.
The Crisis Intervention Team model was designed to enhance the cooperation between police officers and mental health clinicians to address the needs of people affected by a mental health crisis. The fundamental elements of the policy comprise training, inclusive collaboration, and coordinated responses (“What is CIT?,” n.d.). CIT training typically includes a 40-hour course on safety, mental health, destigmatization, de-escalation, and finding necessary resources, providing its participants with comprehensive knowledge of these concepts (“CIT programs,” n.d.). Inclusive collaboration is essential for this public policy to promote transparency, data-sharing, and partnerships among law enforcement, mental health institutions, homeless assistance agencies, advocates, universities, hospitals, affected individuals, and family members. Finally, coordinated responses are crucial to improving citizens’ safety by eliminating situations where police use force against people with mental illnesses. Instead, stigma and the need for involvement in criminal justice procedures can be reduced.
In this regard, the Crisis Intervention Team program was designed to achieve two primary goals. The first objective is to create the least intrusive crisis response system, promoting compassion and effectiveness as core values (“What is CIT?,” n.d.). The second objective is to “help persons with mental disorders and/or addictions access medical treatment rather than place them in the criminal justice system due to illness related behaviors” (“What is CIT?,” n.d., para. 5). Research shows that the implementation of the CIT program can strengthen the community’s safety and assist people with mental health illnesses or addictions. In particular, study findings by Rogers et al. (2019) support the hypothesis of the CIT model’s beneficial effects on outcomes for both citizens and officers. The advantages of this public policy include reduced injuries and stigma regarding mental health, improved productivity of law enforcement, decreased operational costs, and higher community safety.
Policy’s Impact on Crisis Intervention Organizations and Strategies
The Crisis Intervention Team program has a significant impact on crisis intervention organizations and strategies. In particular, law enforcement agencies, advocates, mental health providers, and hospital emergency organizations implement this policy. The participants of the CIT program are involved in discussions with service providers, people with mental illnesses and addictions, and their family members. Furthermore, such organizations as CIT International, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and the University of Memphis provide resources aiming to improve the understanding of the model (“CIT programs,” n.d.). Increased collaborative effort facilitates numerous agencies’ effective implementation of the CIT framework.
The Crisis Intervention Team program shapes crisis intervention strategies in several ways. For instance, policy formulation, training, and education are critical elements of pre-incident planning. The main steps of the CIT crisis intervention strategy are to evaluate the situation, consider individual factors during crisis intervention, and involve informational groups (“What is CIT?,” n.d.). In this regard, interactive methods are important in crisis or violent situations. Critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) can be implemented in a group or individual format. According to Chan (2019), CISD is “a method developed in the 1970s that consists of a seven-phase group discussion which is conducted between two and ten days after a traumatic experience” (p. 27). Alternatively, defusing is a method utilized to evaluate the reactions of individuals immediately involved in the incident. Access to mental health resources, support services, and referral services constitute essential elements of the CIT strategy. Furthermore, follow-up discussions are conducted with the community due to the collaborative effort of law enforcement officers, advisory groups, and healthcare professionals. Post-incident education allows for evaluating the quality of response and enhancing the strategy.
To summarize, the Crisis Intervention Team model shapes public policy and significantly impacts crisis intervention organizations and strategies. The CIT program promotes safety in communities and reduces the adverse effect of stigma regarding mental health issues. Law enforcement agencies, advocates, mental health providers, and hospital emergency organizations implement this public policy. The principles of the CIT model enhance the crisis intervention strategy as a result of collaborative effort.
Chan, E. Y. Y. (2019). Disaster public health and older people. Routledge.
CIT programs. (n.d.). Web.
Rogers, M. S., McNiel, D. E., & Binder, R. L. (2019). Effectiveness of police crisis intervention training programs. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 47(4), 414-421. Web.
What is CIT? (n.d.). Web.