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Jail Diversion Through Crisis Intervention Training for Law Enforcement and First Responders

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Doña Ana County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $180,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Doña Ana County will use the FY09 Congressionally Selected Award to increase knowledge and understanding of police who intervene with people presumed to be mentally ill in crisis situations. In the Doña Ana County Detention Center, approximately one third of the inmates suffer from some form of mental illness. This situation is similar across the State of New Mexico. The intent of the project is to advance the jail diversion effort in the state by providing law enforcement and first responders with Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). The program will increase training by allowing officers to take a self paced program via the World Wide Web and then qualify them for an intensive classroom setting that will provide didactic and role play pedagogy. The combined training will assist law enforcement and other first responders to address individuals' mental health needs and alleviate some of the burden currently on the criminal justice system.

The following objectives will be met to accomplish the goal of increasing the knowledge and understanding of the police in dealing with the mentally ill in a crisis situation: 1) develop online modules for information dissemination based on existing videos and manual products that have been previously developed by the Doña Ana County CIT curriculum; 2) establish an online examination system and criteria to verify distance learning goals and objectives have been met; 3) research web based systems for distance learning in order to establish a program system usable by law enforcement and first responders; 4) obtain documentable buy in by local and state law enforcement institutions accepting the web based curriculum; and 5) test the use and verification of the testing system as part of the evaluation process.

Currently, Dona Ana County has facilitated the development of a didactic curriculum that includes video and role play as part of the training for law enforcement and first responders.


Date Created: September 2, 2009