Mental Health

BACKGROUND: MENTAL ILLNESS

Data on Mental Health

  • 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness in the United States
  • Florida is last in the nation for spending money on mental illness
  • Oftentimes a person’s first mental health diagnosis is a result of police contact.
  • Approximately 1 in 10 police contacts are with some one who is mentally ill
  • Nationally 1 in 5 people in the prison system are suffering from mental illness
  • In Broward County 1/3 of the people in the jail suffer from mental illness (1,500 people out of 4,500)
  • Since 2003 the jail population in Broward County has declined by 12%, but the number of people with mental illness in jail has nearly doubled
  • In Broward County, it costs $130 per day to keep some one with a mental illness in jail
  • Jail is not the best place to be treating people with mental illness. It is not designed for that purpose, it is expensive, inefficient, and ineffective.

The Solution

  • The solution is to intervene early.
  • When police first make contact with some one who is mentally ill they have the opportunity to direct them towards mental health services rather than simply arresting them. But to do that they need to be properly trained
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training is a best practice across the country
  • CIT is a 40 hour training that officers go through that provide them with the skills they need when dealing with an individual suffering from a mental illness
  • In Memphis where this started arrest of mentally ill individuals were reduced from 20 arrests per 100 calls to only 2 arrest per 100 calls
  • Since implementation the number mentally ill people in jail in Memphis has dropped from 15% to 3%.
  • In Miami fatal shootings of mentally ill individuals dropped from 1 a month to less than 1 a year.
  • It reduces injuries to both people suffering from mental illness AND police officers
  • This training works…. It is good for those who are mentally ill…. It is good for our police… it is good for our jails… it is an all around good solutions

What BOLD Justice has accomplished so far

  • Sheriff Israel committed to train all 2,800 officers in CIT by the end of 2020.

Next Steps

  • In order to accomplish that there needs to be additional CIT trainings offered by the county.
  • We are still pushing to get the additional trainings started.