A NAMI event featured training scenarios based on real-life situations in which law enforcement interacts with people in mental health crises. police prisons
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio’s prison system has become the state’s largest mental health provider, and the state is hoping to work with advocates in the mental health community to figure out how to deal with that.

Director of Rehabilitation and Corrections Gary Mohr started in the prison system in 1976. He says in those almost 40 years, the growth in the number of inmates coming into the system with mental health issues has shocked him.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that his office is awarding $60,000 in grant funds to the National Alliance on Mental Illness Ohio (NAMI Ohio). 

According to the Attorney General’s office, the grant money will fund Crisis Intervention Team or (CIT) training. It’s a 40-hour course educating law enforcement officers about handling incidents involving people with mental illness. Law enforcement officers will receive education about mental health disorders, the local mental health system, and some practical techniques for de-escalating crises.