Information and Data Sharing

Highlighted Resources

Sharing Behavioral Health Information: Tips and Strategies for Police-Mental Health Collaboration (2019)

Produced By: The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

Description: This brief provides practical strategies communities can use to safely and legally share behavioral health information to improve outcomes for people in their communities. It discusses police-mental health collaboration strategies, in the moment strategies, and state policymaker strategies.

Keywords: police-mental health collaboration; information sharing

Information Sharing in Criminal Justice-Mental Health Collaborations: Working with HIPAA and Other Privacy Laws (2010)

Produced By: The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center

Description: This guide discuss information sharing in the criminal justice-mental health context and the federal legal framework for sharing health information. It also describes the types of practitioners who are likely to be involved in criminal justice-mental health collaborations (behavioral health care, law enforcement, courts, jail and prison, and probation and parole) and discusses situations under which an entity can provide and receive protected health information (PHI). 

Keywords: data sharing; collaboration

Other Resources


I. Overview

II. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

III. Case Studies

IV. Sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Data Use Agreement

V. Sample Policies and Procedures

VI. Sample Authorization for Release of Information

I. Overview

Point-of-Service Information Sharing Between Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Partners: Addressing Common Misconceptions (2018)

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: This blog post discusses information sharing across criminal justice and behavioral health systems to reduce the number of people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders in jails. It discusses misconceptions related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), state law versus federal law, how to create a framework for data sharing, and using the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) as part of the framework. 

Keywords: data sharing; collaboration; information sharing

Sharing Information between Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice Systems (2016)

Produced By: Council of State Governments Justice Center

Supported By: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Description: This webinar, presented to Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program and Second Chance Act Co-Occurring Substance Use and Mental Disorders grantees, discussed strategies for developing information sharing collaborations between criminal justice and behavioral health systems. Current and former grantees from local jurisdictions discussed their experiences developing local information sharing protocols between agencies, and answered questions about the legal, technological, and interagency communication barriers that face jurisdictions trying to share criminal justice and behavioral health information.

Keywords: information sharing

Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes (2013)

Produced By: IJIS Institute; Urban Institute

Supported By: Bureau of Justice Assistance

Description: Information sharing between the criminal justice and healthcare communities has the potential to enhance both public safety and health outcomes by reducing redundancies, enhancing continuity of care, and generating efficiencies in both domains. Thirty-four (34) beneficial opportunities for interdomain information exchange were identified by a BJA-sponsored working group of experts from both the health and justice communities. This report discusses these recommendations and benefits of information sharing for the criminal justice system and health care providers. 

Keywords: information sharing; diversion

Sharing Health Data Across Systems to Coordinate Care and Deliver Services (2018) - Webinar

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: In each county, there is a small population of residents with complex health and social needs that are difficult to meet without coordinating services and supports across systems and providers. Integrating health information with information from other systems is one way to improve how residents receive the treatment and services needed to improve their health and well-being but accessing, using and sharing health data is often viewed as a significant barrier to advancing streamlined solutions that deliver effective interventions and improve the outcomes of the targeted population. During the 2018 NACo Health and Justice Forum in Shelby County, Tenn., they hosted the workshop, "Sharing Health Data Across Systems to Coordinate Care and Deliver Services," to address how counties can overcome misconceptions about health information sharing and strategies for success. Attendees learned from a national expert on navigating health privacy laws and heard from counties that share health data across systems to improve outcomes.

Keywords: information sharing; data

Responding Better: A Collaborative Approach to Helping Those in Crisis (2020)

Produced By: Arnold Ventures

Description: In 2018, Arnold Ventures launched a project. Data-Driven Justice, designed to help governments use data and coordinate across criminal justice, behavioral health, and service providers to better align resources to respond to people with complex health and social needs, particularly those who are frequent utilizers of justice, health, and human services systems. The pilot projects were located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, the City of Long Beach, California, and Johnson County, Iowa. County officials tested new methods of information sharing and coordination among police, behavioral health, and social service providers in these three communities. The purpose of this brief is to discuss project implementation, share lessons learned, and provide `recommendations to policymakers seeking to leverage Data-Driven Justice as a tool for improving outcomes for frequent utilizers in their communities.

Keywords: information sharing; collaboration; diversion; frequent utilizer

Los Angeles, California Police Department’s Webinar: Strategic Information Sharing and Safeguarding Between Risk Management Professional and Disciplines

Produced By: Detective III Charles Dempsey at the Los Angeles Police Department
Description: This is a presentation by Detective III Charles Dempsey that discusses information sharing, memorandums of agreement, privacy laws, and a case study. 

Keywords: information sharing; MOU; HIPAA

Guidelines for Releasing Patient Information to Law Enforcement

Produced By: American Hospital Association, National Association of Police Organizations

Description: This is a pamphlet designed to help behavioral health professionals identify when it is appropriate to share patient information with law enforcement officers. 

Keywords: information sharing; law enforcement

II. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): A Guide for Law Enforcement

Produced By: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Description: This resource is a pocket guide for law enforcement on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It describes what HIPAA is, who must comply and does not need to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, and under what circumstances a HIPAA covered entity can disclose protected health information to law enforcement. 

Keywords: HIPAA; information sharing 

Frequently Asked Questions: Data-Driven Justice and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (2017)

Produced By: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Description: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is frequently characterized as a barrier to implementing a smarter, more data-driven approach to diverting the high-utilizer population and providing treatment and services. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides answers to many of the most common questions and misperceptions regarding what HIPAA restricts and more importantly how HIPAA can be used as a tool to better serve high-utilizers and other populations in your community.

Keywords: HIPAA; information sharing 

A Note on HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2: Dispelling the Myths about Justice-Health Information Sharing (2014)

Produced By: American Probation and Parole Association

Supported By: Bureau of Justice Assistance 
Description: The author addresses misunderstandings regarding HIPAA, federal regulations, demonstrates the importance and usefulness of of justice-health collaboration and information exchange, and references the tools available from the Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (a.k.a., GLOBAL) to aid in justice-health collaboration.

Keywords: information sharing; HIPAA

Florida Hospital Association's Guide to HIPAA Requirements and Disclosures of Protected Health Information for Law Enforcement Purposes

Produced By: Florida Hospital Association

Description: This guide addresses hospital obligations that arise as a result of both state and federal laws. The information is provided as a guide for both hospitals and law enforcement officials, provides a discussion of the laws, and a discussion of some scenarios that may be helpful. 

Keywords: HIPAA; information sharing 

Pennsylvania Center of Excellence’s Summary of Key Points on Sharing Protected Health Information and Applying Information Sharing Laws Across the Sequential Intercepts

Produced By: Pennsylvania Center of Excellence

Description: This resource is a Center of Excellence summary of key points regarding sharing protected health information at each step along the sequential intercept model. It is drawn from a preconference workshop presented by John Petrila (2013) at the 2013 Pennsylvania Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference. It discusses some definitions of standards set by three legal policies: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), federal law regarding the confidentiality of drug and alcohol patient records (42 CFR Part 2), and Pennsylvania state law. 

Keywords: sequential intercept model (SIM); information sharing

III. Case Studies

Building Data-Driven Justice in Dallas County, Texas (2018)

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: Through its involvement in the Data-Driven Justice (DDJ) initiative, Dallas County has committed to a using a data-driven approach to expand the care continuum for justice-involved individuals with complex behavioral health needs who are high utilizers of services. At the Data-Driven Justice and Behavioral Health Design Institute, the county prioritized increasing the means and degree of collaboration between behavioral health stakeholders, which included focusing on how data integration improves identification, assessment and warm hand-offs of the justice-involved population to community-based treatment and supports.

Keywords: diversion; data; information sharing

Building Data-Driven Justice in Prince George's County, Md. (2018)

Produced By: National Association of Counties
Description: At the Data-Driven Justice and Behavioral Health Design Institute, Prince George’s County identified several needs to improve how it identifies high utilizers and coordinates their connection to treatment and support services, including determining what information should be collected electronically and what data should be integrated, as well as implementing a data platform that would allow for real-time data sharing. Ultimately, the county wants to create synergy between a wide range of county government agencies and partners, forge alliances between data owners and develop a system-wide approach to diversion.

Keywords: information sharing; data; frequent utilizer

Building Data-Driven Justice in Lucas County, Ohio (2018)

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: By attending the Data-Driven Justice and Behavioral Health Design Institute, Lucas County identified two priorities that will help leaders build a system of diversion and advance their efforts on Data-Driven Justice (DDJ), a national initiative involving over 140 county, city and state governments working to reduce the frequent and repeat cycling of high utilizers—also called frequent utilizers—with mental health conditions, substance use disorders and chronic health conditions through jails, emergency rooms, homeless shelters and other crisis services. The county’s top priority is to engage stakeholders and develop the networks and partnerships that are foundational for bringing together the justice and behavioral health systems. The second priority the county identified is to do a “deep dive” into its systems and develop an understanding of how high utilizers interact with and use the various service and resource systems. 

Keywords: Crisis Intervention Team (CIT); information sharing

Building Data-Driven Justice in Polk County, Iowa (2018)

Produced By: National Association of Counties
Description: To improve the quality of life for high utilizers, Polk County identified two interrelated priorities while attending the Data-Drive Justice and Behavioral Health Design Institute. First, Polk County leaders are focusing efforts on enhancing the county’s data collection and tracking abilities by identifying a technology solution that would allow them to pull and analyze data from multiple health and social services systems in order to uncover high utilizers with multiple system interactions. Second, although Polk County already has robust behavioral health services in place, leaders are emphasizing a data-driven approach toward identifying what services and supports best meet the needs of high utilizers and any gaps in resources available in the community. For example, the county funds intense services models including assertive community treatment, forensic assertive community treatment and wraparound service programs, but continues to assess whether such services are working for a high utilizer population that has not been connected in the past or stayed engaged with programs previously offered. Through its Data-Driven Justice efforts, Polk County is positioning itself to understand what service approaches will work for people with high needs before their situations escalate and become more critical.

Keywords: mobile crisis team; stabilization center; information sharing; diversion

Data-Driven Justice: Johnson County, IA 

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Description: This report outlines key insights learned in Johnson County (IA) through their work as a site of the Data-Driven Justice Initiative. It discusses partnerships and collaboration, stakeholder buy-in, technology, data security, data governance, data analysis, and challenges/lessons learned.

Keywords: information sharing; data

Johnson County, Iowa: Using Data to Tell the Story of People with Mental Illnesses in the Community and in the Jail (2017)

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Supported By: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Description: Johnson County, Iowa, has been working on jail diversion since 2005 and has seen dramatic reductions in its jail population due to the foundation leaders created through the Crim­inal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) and other efforts. Johnson County’s CJCC engages county and city leadership from law enforcement, behavioral health and the courts, as well as state leadership to help drive changes. One way leaders have continued the momentum and changed the community dialogue around these issues is by using data to help tell the story of the individuals they are trying to help and the potential impact of making changes to policies and programs. 

Keywords: diversion; data sharing; information sharing

Middlesex County Data-Driven Justice Initiative Final Report (2021)

Produced By: National Association of Counties

Supported By: Arnold Ventures
Description: Supported by Data-Driven Justice, there is significant work happening within Middlesex County to address the gaps and needs in services and treatment for frequent utilizers. Efforts include behavioral health/law enforcement partnerships, the expansion of co-response models, sequential intercept mapping exercises across the county, task forces focused on substance use disorder and opioid use, and legislative efforts aimed at tackling the overlap between behavioral health and law enforcement. This report discusses partnerships, data governance, the county's projects, and next steps and sustainability. 

Keywords: information sharing; data; co-responder; frequent utilizer; sequential intercept model

Sharing Behavioral Health Information Across Justice and Health Systems: Opportunities in the District of Columbia (2018)

Produced By: Vera Institute of Justice

Supported By: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Description: Expanding the availability of behavioral health data could improve prevention, early intervention, and continuity of care at every stage in the system. There is also growing interest in how to share data across sectors and agencies, but few examples. In this study, Vera researchers worked with six government agencies in the District of Columbia to study the availability and location of behavioral health information held for a cohort of people who were arrested in October 2012.

Keywords: information sharing; data

IV. Sample Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)/Data Use Agreement

Information Sharing MOU: An Example from Gila County, Ariz. (2017)

Produced By: Gila County

Description: This MOU is between the Gila County Jail and the Regional Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA), which is contracted to coordinate the delivery of behavioral health and acute care services for the county. The MOU establishes the procedures for communication and coordination of care between the jail and the RBHA by detailing the roles and responsibilities of each to share information.

Using an MOU to Formalize Goals and Establish Data-Sharing: An Example from Codington County, S.D. (2017)

Produced By: Codington County

Description: This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an example of how county departments and local law enforcement agencies can formalize their involvement in a diversion program, including specifying the sharing and using of data as part of each entity's responsibility and commitment. 


Portland, Maine’s Memorandum of Understanding between the Police Department and Milestone Foundation (2016)

Produced By: Portland (ME) Police Department

Description: This resource is a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Portland (ME) Police Department and the Milestone Foundation. 

Keywords: information sharing; MOU

Portland, Maine’s Business Associate Agreement between the Police Department Behavioral Health Unit and Portland Recovery Community Center (2016)

Produced By: Portland (ME) Police Department
Description: This resource is a Memorandum of Understanding between Portland (ME) Police Department and Portland Recovery Community Center to promote the effective utilization of the Substance Use Disorder Liaison. 

Keywords: information sharing; MOU

Los Angeles, California Police Department’s Memorandum of Agreement Template

Produced By: Los Angeles Police Department

Description: This resource is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) template developed by the Los Angeles Police Department for a MOU between the police department and a behavioral health agency. 

Keywords: information sharing; MOU

Sample CIT Memorandum of Understanding between Mental Health Agencies and Public Safety from Wake County, NC

Produced By: Wake County

Description: This resource is a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) between mental health agencies and public safety from Wake County (NC). 

Keywords: Crisis Intervention Training (CIT); sample MOU

El Dorado County, California’s Multi Agency Memorandum of Understanding (2011)

Produced By: El Dorado County (CA)

Description: This resource is a sample memorandum of understanding (MOU) among Marshall Medical Center, City of Placerville Police Department, County of El Dorado Sheriff's Office, and County of El Dorado Health and Human Services Agency, Mental Health Division.

Keywords: information sharing; MOU

Key Elements of Data Sharing Agreements (2014)

Produced By: National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership
Description: Developed by the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) as part of the lessons it has learned by working at the local-level to develop data systems that can monitor the education, health, housing, economic opportunity and public safety conditions of small communities, this resource identifies the common elements of data sharing agreements. 

Keywords: data sharing; information sharing

Data Use Agreement: An Example from King County, Wash. (2018)

Produced By: King County

Description: This data use agreement (DUA) is between the King County Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division and a data recipient for the use of a limited data set (LDS). The LDS excludes direct identifiers such as name, address and Social Security number, but the DUA allows a data recipient to use some identifiable information such as zip code, admission, discharge and service dates, birth date and age. 

Keywords: data sharing; information sharing

V. Sample Policies and Procedures

Los Angeles Police Department’s Mental Evaluation Unit Operations Guide: Confidential Files, Patient Charts, and Case Packages

Produced By: Los Angeles Police Department

Description: This resource is an operations guide related to confidential files, patient charts, and case packages. 

Keywords: information sharing

Tucson, Arizona Police Department’s Mental Health Support Team’s Information Sharing Guide (2017)

Produced By: Tucson Police Department

Description: This resource is an operations manual from the Tucson (AZ) Police Department Mental Health Support Team that discusses the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 

Keywords: information sharing

Venango County, Pennsylvania’s Mental Health and First Responders Collaboration Policies

Produced By: Venango County (PA)

Description: This resource includes mental health and first responders collaboration policies from Venango County (PA). It includes procedures related to transport to the ED, firearms, disclosure of protected health information (PHI), medical stabilization,  and transferring patients. 

Keywords: policies; procedures; information sharing; collaboration

VI. Sample Authorization for Release of Information

Portland, Maine’s Community Provider Network Authorization for Release of Information

Produced By: Portland (ME)

Description: This resource is an authorization for release of information from Greater Portland (ME) Crisis Community Provider Network. 

Keywords: information sharing

Los Angeles Police Department’s Authorization for Medical Release (2012)

Produced By: Los Angeles Police Department

Description: This resource is an authorization for medical release from the Los Angeles Police Department. It also includes a description of procedures for releasing medical information.

Keywords: crisis response; information sharing

Douglas County, Kansas’ Multi-Agency Consent Form for the Release of Confidential Information (2016)

Produced By: Douglas County (KS)

Description: This resource is a multi-agency consent form for the release of confidential information from Douglas County (KS). 

Keywords: crisis response; information sharing

Salt Lake City, Utah Police Department and Community Connection Center’s Informed Consent Release Form

Produced By: Salt Lake City (UT) Police Department
Description: This resource is an informed consent release form from the Salt Lake City (UT) Community Connection Center.

Keywords: information sharing

Requesting Records: An Example from Charleston County, S.C. (2016)

Produced By: Charleston County

Description: This form is an example of how law enforcement agencies can request health information from health providers.  Law enforcement agencies in Charleston County, S.C., complete the form when requesting records from Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center.  Law enforcement agencies can pursue these records under state law and federal regulation.

Keywords: information sharing