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The IJIS Factor is the IJIS Institute's blog that covers technology and information sharing and safeguarding topics, including national standards and initiatives.


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DC Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Information Sharing Forum

Posted By Ashwini Jarral, Friday, November 2, 2018

On October 31st, several members of the IJIS Institute attended the District of Columbia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s Third Annual Information Sharing Forum. The theme of the Forum was Criminal Justice System Information Sharing: Pathways and Challenges. Mannone A. Butler, Esq., the executive director of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, opened the Forum describing the goals of the event and noted that CJCC is an independent District agency that identifies issues and their solutions, proposes actions, and facilitates cooperation to improve public safety in the District of Columbia.

I kicked off the Forum with a session titled The Justice Information Sharing Landscape: National and District Perspectives. I was joined by Imran Chaudhry, CJCC’s CIO. In this session, I discussed the overall objective for sharing information among partners within the criminal justice system, provided an overview of national and local landscapes among the criminal justice community, and highlighted some of the challenges faced when sharing criminal justice information. The challenges discussed were primarily policy, legal, and regulatory issues such as HIPAA, The Privacy Act, and FISMA as well as technology standards (NIST, NIEM) and, of course, cyber security. I highlighted the work IJIS has done to stand up Information Sharing Environments (ISE) and stressed the importance that the sharing provide operational value to the parties sharing. I also discussed the importance of true interoperability and the consistent application of principles and standards to address specific mission problems. I also talked about scalability – a challenge we are working on in the justice community – and stressed that interoperability is about automation and mapping to business processes, organizational mission, and goals.

IJIS arranged for Verne Rinker, a health information privacy specialist with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), to present about HIPAA and how it applies to law enforcement. Verne leads OCR’s administration and enforcement for the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 in addition to various policy aspects of the HIPAA rules. He also serves as the OCR representative to the HHS Privacy Incident Response Team. Verne reviewed the Act, its purpose, common myths, and permitted disclosures for law enforcement such as court orders, specific administrative subpoena, specific information to identify a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person, specific imminent threat, and much more. He also provided a link for an FAQs regarding disclosures for law enforcement

The Forum concluded with a Breakout Session – Case Study where attendees divided into small groups to address a case study based upon the information covered in the first two sessions.

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Tags:  hipaa  information sharing  ISE  justice  privacy 

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Promoting Meaningful Information Sharing

Posted By Robert L. May II, Monday, February 29, 2016

Earlier this month I was invited to speak at a special event hosted by the City of Denver Department of Human Services Crime Prevention and Control Commission. The event, Promoting Meaningful Information Sharing, was held in Denver on 23 February intended to help participants:

  • Ensure accurate information on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and 42-CFR laws.
  • Understand current interpretations and practices regarding HIPAA and 42-CFR laws.
  • Develop common practices used across and within Denver and Colorado agencies.
  • Discuss how Wellness Recovery Action Plans (WRAP) can be used across systems in a digital form.

The event began with general discussions on HIPAA and 42-CFR Part 2 and then I provided the information on criminal justice provisions within HIPAA and 42-CFR. Following my session, there was a presentation on electronic health data exchange and then the rest of the session included scenarios and responses to participant questions.

Also speaking at the event were:

  • Drew Labbo, Chief Information Security Officer & Privacy Officer at Denver Health and Hospital Authority, and he owner and principal of Rocky Mountain HIPAA Guru, which offers HIPAA consulting and HIPAA advisory services.
  • Charles Smith, PhD, Regional Administrator for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Region VIII (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, and WY). Dr. Smith is a Licensed Psychologist and the former Director of the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health and Deputy Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse for the State of Colorado.
  • Hyla Schreurs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, Rocky Mountain Region, Supervisory Equal Opportunity Specialist. Ms. Schreurs is licensed to practice law in Colorado.
  • Jennifer Hill, Program Coordinator at the Colorado Mental Wellness Network.
  • Lyn Snow, Compliance Officer for Colorado Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health.
  • Kate Tipping, Public Health Advisor and privacy lead on SAMHSA’s Health IT Team. PATRICK FOX
  • Patrick K. Fox, MD,  Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Human Services and Deputy Director of Clinical Services for the Office of Behavioral Health.
  • Toria Thompson, Behavioral Health Information Exchange Coordinator at CORHIO and is responsible for implementing solutions for the secure exchange of Behavioral Health data within CORHIO’s HIE.

The combined PowerPoint presentations are attached to this post as a resource, and the following were provided as web resources for further information on the topics discussed.


  • Full text of Privacy, Security, and Breach Rules
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule summary
  • Covered entity "decision tool" to assist individuals and entities in making these determinations
  • Over 200 frequently asked questions
  • Fact sheets
  • Information about the OCR enforcement program

Substance Abuse& Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): and

  • To help providers in the behavioral health field better understand privacy issues related to Health IT, SAMHSA, in collaboration with ONC has created two sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).


Opportunities for Information Sharing to Enhance Health and Public Safety Outcomes


Prioritizing Justice-to-Health Exchanges Task Team Final Report


Aligning Justice-To-Health Priority Exchanges Task Team Final Report

Corrections and Reentry:

Protected Health Information Privacy Framework for Information Sharing


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Tags:  corrections  HIPAA  information sharing  justice-to-health  mental health  substance abuse 

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