WSU Center for Behavioral Health and Justice to Present at 23rd Annual SSWR Conference

Members of the WSU School of Social Work Center for Behavioral Health and Justice will present at the 23rd annual Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) conference January 16-20, 2019 in San Francisco, California. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence’. 

CBHJ team members will present on the following:

“The Use of Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) Training for Corrections Officers: Reducing Critical Incidents within a County Jail”

Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and jails and prisons have become the primary care facilities for individuals with SMI. Studies of the Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT) model, which trains law enforcement officers to recognize symptoms of mental illness and engage in de-escalation, have resulted in positive outcomes for officers and individuals with SMI. This study presents an adaptation of this model for patrol officers to correctional officers (COs) within a county jail. To date, no studies have assessed the use of CIT training in correctional settings.

This study asked: Does CIT training have an impact on outcomes in correctional settings?

The team’s analysis suggests that CIT training, in this case study, resulted in an abrupt decrease in the level of CRT usage, and that over the six-month period following training, this change significantly persisted.


“Individuals with Mental Illness who have Multiple Encounters with law Enforcement”

While research has broadly focused on interactions between individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) and law enforcement, little is known about individuals with mental illness who come to the attention of law enforcement on multiple occasions.

This exploratory study asked:

  • Do individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) who have multiple encounters with law enforcement for mental health issues also engage with law enforcement for other offenses?
  • Do these encounters differ for those with co-occurring disorder (COD)?
  • Do these interactions change after officers have been trained in Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT)?

The team found that coordination between practitioners, those providing treatment services, and criminal justice professionals is essential to advance treatment for those who have multiple interactions with law enforcement, in order to assure the health and safety of all individuals in the community. Likewise, the training of law enforcement on the identification and diversion of individuals with mental illness is crucial.


Find out more about the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 2019 conference.

Learn about other research emerging from the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice. 

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