There are 11.6 million jail encounters in the US each year. Information sharing related to convicted offenders and other justice-involved individuals’ presents a critical challenge for the criminal justice, healthcare, mental health, and other treatment services domains. Successful offender reentry into society requires sharing information about an individual’s treatment history while incarcerated with community health providers so that any underlying causes of criminal behavior can be treated and recidivism avoided. The IJIS Institute, under sponsorship of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and in collaboration with the Urban Institute, was the first organization to identify and prioritize opportunities for exchanging such data. The primary work product result was a list of 34 information exchanges addressing the continuity of care and effective treatment of individuals who are part of both the health care and criminal justice systems, published in 2013 as Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes.
The IJIS Institute, in partnership with the National Center for State Courts and the Georgia Tech Research Institute, developed an interoperable framework to translate between technology systems used by criminal justice and health practitioners. A Justice Continuity of Care Document (JCCD) is being developed which will contain justice-specific data elements that can be shared with other criminal justice organizations or with interested healthcare organizations. The project provided a comprehensive solution to the technical problem of justice/health information sharing resulting in a consistent and open standards-based way. The solution will be supported by both the justice and health communities, will build on previous standards work, and will not require either community to significantly alter its current technical standards.