by Jodie LeMaster
South Hills Webmaster
with Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
LEWISTOWN — Before leaving for their summer internships, five of our 2nd-year Criminal Justice students from our Lewistown location and their instructor, Venus Shade, successfully completed training and received their Mifflin County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certification. They took part in the class with 10 other members of the Mifflin County criminal justice community.
CIT works in partnership with mental healthcare providers to develop a system of services that is benefitial to individuals with mental illness, their family members, and the police officers. CIT training prepares participants to assist law enforcement and other community social service workers in identifying and addressing mental health issues that may be involved in various potentially volatile cases. The objectives are to decrease the need for use of force during crisis situations, prevent injuries to officers and citizens, and offer earlier interventions in hopes of improving treatment outcomes.
Pictured here are (left to right) AJ Cole, Tre Carter, Venus Shade, Mercedes Madera, Samantha Snook, and Andrew Druckenmiller with their CIT certificates.
Local CIT Coordinator Erica Clark put the 40-hour training session together in collaboration with local law enforcement and area mental health officials. Ms. Clark stated that she was inspired by the level of commitment and involvement the South Hills students demonstrated during the intensive training.
Barbara Harer, Director of South Hills – Lewistown, said, “We are proud of our Criminal Justice students for being involved in this valuable crisis intervention training experience. They can take this innovative and sensitive training into a diversity of careers within their field.”