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Evaluation of Chicago Police Department's Crisis Intervention Team for Youth (CIT-Y) Training Curriculum: Year 2

NCJ Number
Rebecca R. Skorek; Christine Westley
Date Published
July 2016
71 pages
This study is part of a multi-year evaluation that assessed core training components and the effect of the Chicago Police Department's (CPD's) Crisis Intervention Team for Youth (CIT-Y) on officer knowledge of and attitudes toward appropriate responses to youth crisis calls during the second year of training implementation in 2012, and it also assessed progress on recommended diversification of training participation among the various levels of CPD staff.
CIT-Y training objectives were to improve officer awareness of signs and symptoms of youths' mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders, increase knowledge of risk levels and corresponding crisis de-escalation techniques, and provide information on CPD's mental health-related directives on youth service-call dispositions. Only officers who had completed an adult crisis intervention course (available at CPD since 2004) were eligible for CIT-Y training. Results from evaluation module surveys indicated that training participants rated curriculum information as relevant, engaging, and easy to understand. They found presenters to be knowledgeable, professional, and prepared. Officers satisfied with training presentations reported more understanding of core CIT-Y objectives. In focus groups held 6 months after the training, CIT-Y officers reported regularly applying crisis de-escalation techniques and stated that they experienced safety concerns when they were not used. Ways recommended for improving the application of course techniques are to revise program material to better reflect CPD's actual youth crisis calls; use training supervisors; support cross-system collaborations for diversion and service linkage; assess internal, administrative CIT-related data to inform and improve program operations; and establish non-emergency linkage options, outreach, and follow-up services. 10 figures, 6 tables, 37 references, and appended CIT department directives, CIT-Y objectives, service call disposition decision tree, CIT-Y training schedule and modules, mental health CIT report, and recommended CIT system map