The Community Crisis Intervention Team (CCIT) is a unique Jail Diversion Program established in 2001 by the City of Taunton Massachusetts Police Department and other concerned community participants. CCIT is not a traditional jail diversion program, where training for law enforcement focuses on pre-arrest diversion. Instead, CCIT incorporates a community response that also diverts people with disabilities at a number of junctures.
In its role as both the behavioral health provider and fiscal agent, CCBC has an ongoing partnership with CCIT to provide a single point interface with the mental health system, as well as enhanced access to both criminal and inpatient alternatives for the person in crisis. This collaboration provides the police and emergency service programs with new assessment, respite and treatment alternatives to reduce criminalization, use of emergency rooms, and unnecessary hospitalization. Additionally, CCIT’s partnership with CCBC allows for the continuity of a single point of entry to the full spectrum of community support services.
CCIT’s goals are two-fold:
- To organize and educate community partnerships on how to identify and respond to persons with disabilities who are in crisis, and then explore strategies to both improve outcomes and provide a compassionate response that prioritizes treatment over incarceration;
- To train and equip members to assist other communities in identifying the components and collaboration necessary to replicate similar CCIT initiatives.
As of July 2015, 33 communities have been served and over 779 individuals, including 330 police officers have been trained through 24 multiple day training programs. Additionally, 202 case conferences have been convened.