Point-of-Service Information Sharing Between Justice and Behavioral Health Partners

Information sharing across behavioral health and criminal justice systems is critical to reducing the number of people with mental and substance use disorders in jails. At the point of service, the availability of information related to the person’s treatment history and condition can enhance safety, improve the individual’s health and support recovery outcomes. However, many jurisdictions face substantial challenges in developing information sharing agreements, cross-system coordination and technology to gather and share information from their systems. As stakeholders strive to work within the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other federal and state confidentiality laws, many misconceptions may complicate their efforts and pose unintended barriers.

At the 2018 Best Practices Implementation Academy convened by SAMHSA’s GAINS Center, John Petrila, Vice President of Adult Policy at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute and a national expert on data sharing and privacy law, presented strategies to enable appropriate information sharing between healthcare and criminal justice agencies. View video clips, scenarios and the full presentation here.