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The Chicago Police Department's FY21 Connect and Protect: Law Enforcement Behavioral Health Responses Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $542,531)

The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Chicago seek funding for our collaborative Clinical Support Program, which promotes the recovery of people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders whose illness causes them to come into contact with law enforcement and the criminal court system. This application focuses on the Department of Justice’s program specific priority area to promote effective strategies by law enforcement to identify and reduce the risk of harm to individuals with MI or CMISA and to public safety.


The Clinical Support Program serves individuals across the City of Chicago. Its reach focuses on people living with mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders who have complex physical, behavioral and social needs that are not well-served through the traditional crisis response system. These individuals are often referred to as “high utilizers”, stuck in the revolving door of crisis medical, court and legal systems not designed to promote recovery. They tend to be disproportionately Black and Brown and from marginalized groups.

The Chicago Police Department has begun a pilot initiative to identify these complex individuals cycling through the system and refer them to the mental health professionals at NAMI Chicago. When CPD calls NAMI Chicago’s Clinical Support Team, NAMI Chicago is able to diffuse impending crises and work with these individuals over the course of weeks and months to connect them with care and services needed to move towards recovery. The handoff diverts these cases out of law enforcement, coordinates complex systems, and supports the individual, family and loved ones towards long-term stabilization and wellness.

The Clinical Support Program emerged in February 2021 in response to the intensive needs of these individuals and families, and the demand to expand this work is high. We seek funding to build capacity to serve more people, to evaluate and track data to show our success, to increase stakeholder and community engagement, and to support the wellness of officers and frontline workers, and ultimately to improve the wellness of some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.

The Chicago Police Department is a previous recipient of JMHCP funding, receiving a grant in FY18 with award number 2018-MO-BX-0032. Subcontractors on this proposal include NAMI Chicago (mental health agency) and University of Illinois at Chicago (evaluation partner).

Date Created: December 16, 2021