The National Alliance on Mental Illness Tennessee has created a training film specifically aimed at correctional officers. It is called CODE, an acronym for Correctional Officers De-escalation Education. Filmmaker Dixie Gamble gained unprecedented access to the Tennessee state prison system where she interviewed inmates and correctional officers. She also spoke to me and numerous mental health experts including LEAP Institute’s Dr. Xavier Amador, NAMI’s Ron Honberg and Dr. Ken Duckworth, and CIT Expert Sam Cochran. The film is narrated by Steve Lopez, author of the best-selling book that inspired the film The Soloist.
NAMI Tennessee Executive Director K. Jeff Fladen announced that the World Premier for CODE will be held Thursday, June 18th, at the Belcourt Theater in Nashville at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $15 and will be used to help defray the cost of the film. CODE also will be shown at this year’s NAMI Convention in San Francisco on July 8th. I will be in the audience for that event.
We know that Crisis Intervention Team training has revolutionized how police departments interact with individuals who are in the midst of a psychotic break. Now, CODE offers us training specifically aimed at Correctional Officers. Given that jails and prisons have become our new mental asylums, this is an important film. Please circulate the trailer, make your local correctional departments aware of CODE and spread the word.