Objective: Crisis intervention team (CIT) training provides police officers with knowledge and skills to improve their responses to individuals with mental illnesses. This study determined changes in knowledge, attitudes, and social distance related to schizophrenia among police officers after CIT training.
Methods: A survey was administered to 159 officers immediately before and after a 40-hour CIT training program in Georgia. Pre- and posttest data were gathered from surveys taken between December 2004 and July 2005.
Results: After the training, officers reported improved attitudes regarding aggressiveness among individuals with schizophrenia, became more supportive of treatment programs for schizophrenia, evidenced greater knowledge about schizophrenia, and reported less social distance toward individuals with schizophrenia.
Conclusions: This study supports the hypothesis that an educational program for law enforcement officers may reduce stigmatizing attitudes toward persons with schizophrenia.