Our Mission
The Academy for Justice-Informed Practice (the Academy) is a workforce training initiative targeting a wide array of professionals working with individuals with behavioral health needs and criminal justice involvement in New York City. We partner with experts from across disciplines to develop and deliver quality training programs that advance leading-edge information, teach best practices and foster collaboration between professionals across systems. All of our programs are free of charge. We believe that an educated workforce is critical to reducing recidivism, enhancing public safety and fostering recovery among justice-involved people with behavioral health needs. 

Interdisciplinary Training Programs

Our interdisciplinary trainings target direct service professionals working across a wide range of behavioral health and criminal justice settings.

Implemented in April 2014, our certificate program is comprised of the Academy's core curriculum. These eight classes teach foundational skills and are taught by seasoned professionals who are currently working at the top of their respective fields. To complete the program, participants must attend all eight modules within a year of beginning the program. Browse our Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

The Academy offers a wide range of electives and panels to enhance the learning objectives of the core curriculum. Like all of our classes, these offerings advance best practices, highlight current thinking in the field and help attendees develop skills to meet the needs of their justice-involved clients. Our panels, which take place three times each year, are larger-scale educational events that feature current topics of import to our constituents.

*Most of the above trainings offer Social Work CE and CASAC renewal credit hours. As per
NYS regulations, the Academy is unable to confer CEU credit to individuals who arrive late or leave class early.

Specialized Training Programs

Our specialized trainings target specific professional groups.

NYPD Crisis Intervention Training

A ccording to the NYPD, approximately 130,000 calls involving e m otio nally disturbed persons (EDP) are made to 911 every year. It is therefore critical that officers are equipped to safely and effectively deal with t hese situations. Toward this end, the NYPD implemented Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) for uniformed officers in 2015. CIT for law enforcement professionals has been implemented in jurisdictions across the country and has proven to be highly effective in helping police officers safely and sensitively manage crises.   
The CUCS Academy in collaboration with the NYPD, delivers CIT to officers across the department. This four-day training, conducted weekly in small group settings, teaches participants about the signs and symptoms of mental illness, promotes empathy and sensitizes trainees to the experience of people in mental health crisis who come to the attention of the police. The training aims to help participants deescalate crisis using communication strategies and empathic listening; divert individuals to treatment instead of jail when appropriate and protect the safety of officers, persons in crisis and the public at large. To learn more about the NYPD CIT initiative, click here.

The Academy conducts three legal trainings each year, covering critical areas of practice for legal professionals working with individuals with mental illness in New York City criminal proceedings. Trainings are developed with the assistance of our advisory committee, which is comprised of NYC prosecutors, defense lawyers, civil lawyers, court attorneys and clinicians--all of whom have decades of expertise working with justice-involved individuals with mental illness in New York City's legal and criminal justice systems. Trainings are equally relevant to prosecutors and defense lawyers, and confer CLE credit hours. All trainings are free of charge. To learn more about the content of our legal trainings, click here.

Other Specialized Training 

The Academy offers specialized training to professional groups on an as-needed basis and when possible. This year we developed and conducted a three-day violence management and de-escalation training for program staff serving high risk/high need justice-involved clients with behavioral health needs. Last year we developed specialized training for criminal court and supreme court judges across the five boroughs of the New York City. Contact us at academy@cucs.org if you would like discuss your specialized training needs.