IJIS Institute and Urban Institute Publish Results of Criminal Justice and Health Collaboration Working Group

Working group identifies information exchanges for continuity of care and treatment of individuals

Ashburn, VA, (August 28, 2013). The IJIS Institute—a nonprofit organization that focuses on mission-critical information sharing for justice, public safety, and homeland security—in collaboration with the Urban Institute (UI), is pleased to announce the report entitled, Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes. The report, developed by the Criminal Justice and Health (CJ&H) Collaboration Project Working Group, was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA).

According to the Department of Justice, nearly 7 million Americans—1 in 34—are either incarcerated or under criminal justice supervision and many frequently cycle in and out of the criminal justice system. The justice-involved population is more likely to suffer from chronic physical health, mental health and substance abuse conditions than the general population. In fact, over 80 percent of adult offenders returning to society have a physical, mental, or substance-related condition, and 40 percent of men and 60 percent of women have multiple conditions (Mallik-Kane and Visher, “Health and Prisoner Reentry,” 2008). These chronic physical and behavioral health conditions are correlated with poorer reintegration outcomes, such as decreased employment, as well as increased re-arrest and re-incarceration rates.

In an effort to help stem these poor reintegration outcomes and potentially reduce healthcare and criminal justice system costs, the CJ&H Project brought together a working group representative of criminal justice and health and human services stakeholders. The group worked to identify and prioritize 34 opportunities for information exchange between justice and community-based health entities (broadly defined to include physical health, mental health, pharmacy, and substance abuse treatment providers) addressing the continuity of care and effective treatment of individuals in the justice system.

Kamala Mallik-Kane, one of the UI lead authors said, “Information exchange can help criminal justice and health practitioners respond more effectively to the individuals in their care. It promotes better health treatment for physical and behavioral problems that affect an individual's ability to stay employed, sober, and law-abiding. The 34 information exchanges identified in the report are relevant to many different types of criminal justice agencies, health providers, and health agencies. Stakeholders can easily scan this report to identify information exchange opportunities that are particular to their needs.”

The report was designed as a resource for justice, health and human services to:

  • Identify the full range of beneficial information exchanges between the criminal justice and healthcare systems;
  • Provide detail on specific information exchanges within the context of routine criminal justice and health operations;
  • Serve as a guide to policymakers and practitioners seeking to implement information exchange, by offering detail on workflow and implementation issues; and,
  • Offer a “blueprint” to key information exchanges that facilitate prisoner reentry and supervised community-based treatment, by outlining two sample implementation scenarios.

Steve Ambrosini, executive director of the IJIS Institute, said, “The benefits of exchanging information between the criminal justice and health communities are not yet fully understood; however, this project managed to go to the next step and identified and prioritized the beneficial exchanges between the two domains.” Ambrosini further stated, “This landmark report will not only serve as an excellent tool for the criminal justice and health communities in helping to determine what criminal justice-health exchanges are possible but it will also assist them in determining which exchanges they desire to implement in the future.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.ijis.org/_programs/justice_health_info_sharing.html

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About the IJIS InstituteThe IJIS Institute unites the private and public sectors to improve mission-critical information sharing for those who protect and serve our communities. The IJIS Institute provides training, technical assistance, national scope issue management, and program management services to help government fully realize the power of information sharing. Founded in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation with national headquarters on The George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, the IJIS Institute has grown to over 280 member companies and individual associates from government, non-profit, and educational institutions from across the United States. For more information, visit our website at: http://www.ijis.org/; follow us on Twitter @ijisinstitute; read the IJIS Factor Blog; or, join us on LinkedIn at Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing.

About the Urban InstituteThe Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation. It provides information, analyses, and perspectives to public and private decision makers to help them address these problems and strives to deepen citizens' understanding of the issues and tradeoffs that policymakers face.

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