Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Allegheny County’s proposed Collaborative Crisis Response Training Program project will help correctional officers to better interact with individuals with behavioral health conditions and disabilities through the development and implementation of a crisis response and intervention training curriculum that is tailored to the specific needs of the Allegheny County Jail.
The Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) is applying for the grant on behalf of Allegheny County and is partnering with the Allegheny County Jail (ACJ). DHS will leverage its extensive network of contracted service providers, as well as its longstanding partnership with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP) on crisis intervention training (CIT) in the development of training for correctional officers. By training correctional officers in how to appropriately interact with people with behavioral health conditions and disabilities, the project will impact the over 8,000 individuals booked into the ACJ annually, over a third of whom have accessed a publicly funded mental health service and over 20% of whom have accessed a publicly funded substance use service.
Allegheny County is the second most populous county in Pennsylvania, with a population of 1.25 million. The county seat is Pittsburgh, and approximately 75% of Allegheny County residents live outside the city of Pittsburgh. According to census data, 78% of Allegheny County residents are White, 13.4% are Black or African American, 4.2% are Asian, 2.3% are Hispanic or Latino, and 2.3% are two or more races. DHS serves over 200,000 Allegheny County residents each year.
The proposed project will hire a Project Coordinator to lead the planning and implementation of training and supports for correctional officers. This work will include convening a project team of key partners and local community stakeholders, completing a problem analysis, working with the project team to tailor the 40-hour Crisis Response and Intervention Training (CRIT) curriculum for correctional officers, identifying trainers, implementing the training, and measuring its outcomes. Allegheny County is requesting $150,000 to carry out the project.
Allegheny County has been the recipient of previous BJA law enforcement and mental health grant funds, including: BJA FY20 CESF - Allegheny County: 2020-VD-BC-1738 and Allegheny County COSSAP: 2020-AR-BX-0108.