Report to the Indianapolis Office of Public Health & Safety and the Fairbanks Foundation
Evaluation of the Indianapolis Mobile Crisis Assistance Team – MARCH 2018
In May 2016, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett formed the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force to address, among other issues, the significant number of individuals entering the criminal justice system with mental health or substance abuse issues. This resulted in the establishment of a Mobile Crisis Assistance Team (MCAT) pilot program that integrated police, paramedics and mental health professionals into teams to respond to emergency calls involving people with behavioral health and/or substance use issues. The pilot program aimed to divert those people to mental health and social services instead of the criminal justice system, and to relieve other first-responders from the scene of these time-consuming and complicated emergency situations. The MCAT pilot began in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) East District.
The Center for Criminal Justice Research at the Indiana University Public Policy Institute evaluated the pilot program using data from MCAT run reports between August 1 and December 9, 2017. Additionally, East District IMPD officers were surveyed, key stakeholders and program designers were interviewed, focus groups were held with the MCAT team members, and field observations were completed.