Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Teaching and Learning Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Bruce P. Uhrmacher, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Cross

Third Advisor

Paul Michalec

Fourth Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot


Crisis intervention team training, Hidden curriculum, Instructional arc, Police, Racist logics, Whiteness


Some scholars argue that communities of color have been historically considered criminal by law enforcement (Fanon, 1963/2004; Gordon, 1996; Sharpley-Whiting, 1999), and Parenti (2003) and Kendi (2016) traced the history of modern policing to slave patrols. Wynter (2003) illuminated the racial logics undergirding our society - including policing - to the overlay of monotheism and its fixity with racial constructions of human as historically rooted in slavery and colonization. Thus, policing, too, carries a racialized dimension (Gamal, 2016) that creates or amplifies trauma and mental illness (Westcott, 2015). To address mental health, an undergirding feature of use of force and racialized policing, many cities have adopted Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for police personnel, a 40-hour training in partnership with health community resources and mental health experts (Watson, Morabito, Draine, & Ottati, 2008) intended to promote de-escalation and communication between police and communities. For this Educational Criticism (Eisner, 1998), I first utilized interviews to consider how the officers leading the training think about CIT's purposes and content. I then observed the training to examine the relationship between trainer's intentions and what occurs. Last, I explored what the police officers learned, connecting to how individual police officers make sense of the training to consider to what extent the training evinces or contests the racial logics of violence and whiteness tied into constructions of human. I found CIT training to use colorblind and universal language to describe communication between police and various populations while also coding racialized perception of neighborhoods and criminals. This coding relates to officers' perception of danger and, thus, whether they utilize CIT strategies or other tactics in working with populations. Therefore, racial coding without explicit address in the training contributes to a lack of awareness and reflection of the role of race in interactions, potentially impacting discretion and use of force. Address of the role of institutional and individual racism as it relates to CIT ought to be incorporated in trainings to enhance officer efficacy.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Tara N Meister


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

276 p.


Curriculum development, Educational sociology, Criminology