College of Nursing



Faculty Mentor

Andrew Johnson

Faculty Editor

Brooke Gialopsos

Student Editor

Katrina Manacio


Following the murder of Joseph Dewayne Robinson in 1987 by Memphis, Tennessee police, community and civil organizers collaborated with the Universities of Memphis and Tennessee and the Memphis Police Department to organize Memphis PD’s Crisis Intervention Team (CIT). Similar modes of the CIT model have been deployed nationally as a law enforcement-based crisis intervention strategy aiming to reduce lethality in police response to mental health crises. At least 2,700 communities around the United States utilize CIT methodology to provide mental health education and training for police officers, yet statistical evidence of police-related response, injury, and use of force with individuals experiencing mental illness crises undermines the CIT mission and goals. While systematic analyses of CIT training support officer-level outcomes, national police incident data confirms parallels between use of force and injury and individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. As a nationally deployed and largely unstandardized methodology, the CIT model seeks to reduce the risk of injury or death for people experiencing mental illness during emergency police interactions, yet its objective improvements in arrests, officer and citizen injury, and use of force during de-escalations remain unclear.