How can it benefit my agency?
Public health agencies
- Increasing access to healthcare and treatment in the community has the potential to improve health outcomes, reduce emergency room visits, lower risks of death, diminish health problems, enhance public safety, and reduce recidivism.
- Providing public health agencies with access to release dates, prescriptions, and other essential information for people leaving justice facilities can increase the likelihood that people who are re-entering the community will continue to receive care and rely less on costly emergency healthcare services.
Criminal justice organizations
- When criminal justice agencies have access to someone’s health information, they can quickly and efficiently identify whether the person has behavioral health needs that require treatment.
- Law enforcement agencies, courts, probation and parole departments, jails, and prisons can use health information to make intelligent decisions about which people are eligible to participate in drug courts, receive alternatives to incarceration, and enter into specialized treatment programs.
Benefits to justice and healthcare providers
- By diverting those with needs for behavioral health treatment to community programs rather than to jail or prison, both justice and health agencies will cut costs. Click here to learn more about cost savings tied to treatment alternatives to incarceration for people with mental health needs.
- By sharing information on diagnoses and treatment needs, agencies can avoid unnecessarily duplicating expensive intake and assessment procedures.
- Information sharing allows justice and health agencies to monitor their own performance, including the quality of care and services they provide, and develop practices based on what works.
- By collecting information on the services that people receive from multiple agencies, government can identify and eliminate redundancies and repair gaps in existing systems of care.
- As jurisdictions implement the federal Affordable Care Act, information sharing will allow justice practitioners and healthcare providers to identify people who are eligible for health coverage and enroll them in Medicaid, improving access to care and cutting costs. Click here to learn more about the implications of the Affordable Care Act for justice system-involved people.