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Coordinated Implementation of Community Response Measures (Including Social Distancing) to Control the Spread of Pandemic Respiratory Disease: A Guide for Developing an MOU for Public Health, Law Enforcement, Corrections, and the Judiciary

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2008
28 pages
Developed by the Public Health and Law Enforcement Emergency Preparedness Workgroup (the Workgroup), this document provides guidance for state, tribal, local, and other jurisdictions when addressing planning efforts to coordinate cross-sector implementation of community responses to prevent or limit the spread of a severe, contagious respiratory disease such as pandemic influenza.
The Workgroup's composition included experts from local, state, and national organizations from the sectors of public health, law enforcement, corrections, and the judiciary. Among the many lessons of recent emergency response efforts is the realization that no sector or jurisdiction is likely to face a major disaster or its aftermath alone. The Workgroup was convened to assist in accelerating and focusing cooperation across domains of specialization by developing tools such as this guide for developing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that facilitates cooperation among entities that specialize in public health, law enforcement, institutional and community corrections, and the judiciary. The MOU should clarify the responsibilities of the professionals in each of these domains as they work together during a public health crisis that involves a severe respiratory disease outbreak, such as an influenza pandemic. Reasons for selecting this particular scenario are explained in this guide. The guide focuses on initiating conversation and then agreements that specify and clarify the roles each sector would play in such a scenario, the expectations each would have of the others, the legal authorities under which each would act, information requirements, and other gaps that should be addressed to ensure pre-event preparedness. These commitments and responsibilities are captured in the form of an MOU that can be regularly reviewed and modified with mutual consent. References, a bibliography, and appended supplementary information