Crisis Intervention
and Diversion Project:
A Work in Progress
Laurie A. Martinelli, J.D., MPH
Executive Director
 2011 –The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts (NAMI
Massachusetts) announces major focus on decriminalization of mental
 February 2012 – Press conference to announce report entitled, “Building
Alliances between the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Systems to
Prevent Unnecessary Arrests”.
 Major findings:
People with mental illness more likely to get arrested;
Without treatment, risk of arrest for behaviors symptomatic of mental illness;
Arrest has become alternative to treatment; and,
Lack of treatment results in emotional and financial costs
Stakeholder Outreach
 State DMH
 Courts
 Probation
 Attorney General’s Office
 Behavioral Health providers
 State, County and local law enforcement
 District Attorneys’ offices
 Advocates
 People with Lived Experience
Advisory Committee Work to
 Quarterly Meetings planned - 3 meetings held
 Fact finding
 Current programs in Massachusetts
 Co-Responder
 Hybrid
 Model programs in other states
 Connecticut – Statewide CIT Program
 NAMI Connecticut and CABLE
 Establishing goals
Goals of Crisis Intervention
and Diversion Project
1. Promote statewide strategy for police and first
responder training programs and specialized response
teams on mental illness.
2. Identify stable funding stream for police training and
specialized response teams.
3. Build partnerships between local police and communitybased crisis intervention, or emergency services
4. Assure crisis intervention services accessible and
available to every Massachusetts resident who requires
them, by expanding coverage to include all public and
private insurers.
Getting from Here to There…Funding
 Long-term project – Need $650K over 5 years
 Do all fundraising upfront
 Grant proposals
 Targeted donations from sponsors of NAMI’s efforts
 To date, have raised $235K, including NAMI Mass’ largest ever grant
of $100K from One World Boston (Cummings Foundation)
 Championed new $250K competitive grant program in State budget to
municipalities to develop police training on mental illness and
partnerships with mental health providers.
 Awaiting word on 2 other grant proposals
 Exploring programs/foundations that fund criminal justice/mental
health initiatives
Getting from Here to There…Leadership
and Public Relations
 In order to raise profile of NAMI Massachusetts Crisis Intervention
and Diversion Project, need for “champions”
 Steve Rosenfeld, Vice President NAMI Massachusetts
 June Binney, Criminal Justice Project Director, NAMI Massachusetts
 Laurie Martinelli, Executive Director, NAMI Massachusetts
 “Meet and greet” stakeholders
 Visit programs around the State and take aways
 Retention of Public Relations firm to craft message and develop
media strategy
Getting from Here to
There…University Affiliation
 Exploring university partnerships
 Possible areas for collaboration
 Needs assessment
 Grant writing
 Program evaluation to show effectiveness of mental health
training/specialized teams
 Training site
 On-line training
Getting from Here to
 How to promote statewide strategy so that all
Massachusetts residents have access to the most
appropriate and responsive mental health crisis
intervention and stabilization services.
 How to decrease the likelihood of unwarranted arrest and
detention of men and women with mental illness through
meaningful training programs and mental health/law
enforcement community partnerships.
 How to assure consistency across 351 cities and towns in
Massachusetts and sustainability of programs.
Contact us:
Laurie A. Martinelli, JD, MPH, Executive Director NAMI
[email protected]
Stephen Rosenfeld, JD, Vice President, NAMI
[email protected]
June S. Binney, JD, Criminal Justice Project Director,
NAMI Massachusetts
[email protected]

NAMI Massachusetts - CIT International Conference