Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $249,000)
The New York City Department of Correction proposes to expand and enhance its current Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) capabilities. The Department is requesting $249,000.00 over three years to enhance and expand the Department’s CIT resources by equipping correction officers with skills and tools to safely respond to crisis situations involving people in custody (PIC). On average 50% of PIC at Riker’s Island have been diagnosed with some form of mental health disorder. Uniformed DOC staff are left to mitigate incidents among detainees that occur outside of housing areas without the help of mental health professionals. It is imperative correctional staff are equipped with the knowledge and skills to mitigate crisis situations and refer PIC to mental health services when applicable. The Health Affairs Division within the Department of Correction developed a strategic plan to help address the need for enhanced CIT intervention that includes the following project activities: 1) hiring two instructors to provide simulation training to correctional staff with the goal of teaching them de-escalation mechanisms 2) increase CIT trainings by adding an extra 5-day training session, as well as five extra 1-day refreshers. During the course of this project, an additional 75 staff members will be afforded the CIT training and 125 staff members will receive annual refreshers. From this project, the Department anticipates an improvement in safety during correctional staff encounters with people experiencing a mental health crisis, improved correctional staff knowledge of mental health, the strategic use of correctional staff during crisis situations, and an increase in the number of trained CIT staff who are able to respond to crisis throughout the respective facilities.