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Assessing the Impact of Crisis Intervention Teams: A Review of Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2021
51 pages

This document reviews the available research on the implementation and effectiveness of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, organized into five major sections that provide an overview of the CIT, its organization and effectiveness, the impacts of the CIT model, stakeholders’ perceptions, and practical and research implications for agencies seeking to implement or evaluate CIT programs.


This research review examines more than 50 resources relating to the implementation of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, which are a police-led strategy for improving police interactions with individuals experiencing behavioral health crises and to direct those individuals away from the criminal justice system, into the appropriate treatment and services. Conclusions suggest that training officers in CIT improves their knowledge of behavioral health conditions and that this appears to be a promising model, however research has not yet conclusively supported the use of CIT programs to reduce the use of arrest or force, or to prevent injuries during police encounters. Although calls for further research have been placed, barriers include data collection challenges and the infeasibility of randomization in many locations.


Date Published: March 1, 2021