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Opportunities for Information Sharing To Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes: A Report by the Criminal Justice and Health Collaboration Project

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2013
148 pages
Scott Parker; Kamala Mallik-Kane; Aaron Horvath
With support from the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the IJIS Institute, and the Urban Institute, a working group of health and justice stakeholders identified and documented a range of opportunities for beneficial, cross-system information exchange between criminal justice and health entities.
The main goal of this information exchange is to "promote treatment continuity of care for the benefit of both the individual and overall public safety." Other goals are to facilitate alternatives to incarceration, improve the quality of offender reentry into the community, reduce the likelihood of recidivism, and reduce redundant re-assessments. The working group identified 34 information exchange opportunities between community-based health entities (broadly defined to include physical health, mental health, pharmacy, and substance abuse treatment providers) and the criminal justice system. Based on recommendations from the working group, BJA chose two areas for further development as "implementation scenarios." These areas are reentry into the community after incarceration and community-based treatment with effective criminal justice supervision. For each of these criminal justice domains, five recommendations for information exchange are offered. The objectives of these information exchanges are to reduce or eliminate staff time for some tasks, thereby reducing time and cost overall; automate several information processes desired by both stakeholder groups; increase accessibility of critical information; and increase the accuracy and timeliness of information, thus enabling more effective continuity of care. Four needs for health information by the criminal justice system were identified across multiple information exchanges. Health information can facilitate assessing an unknown situation, appropriate diversion from the criminal justice system, continuity of care for persons in custody, and effective community supervision of defendants and offenders. Information exchanges in each of these areas are identified and discussed. 18 tables, 12 figures, and appended Phase two recommendations, success stories, and references

Date Created: August 29, 2013