HD6 - Report on the Feasibility of Developing a Secure, De-identified, Renewable, and Relational Database of Criminal Justice, Behavioral Health, and Other Human Services Records (HJR 578, 2021 SSI)

Executive Summary:

The current workgroup was established by HJ578 to study the feasibility of developing a de-identified, relational database that links records of individuals involved in the criminal justice system, who have also received behavioral health or other human services. The goal of such a system is to better understand the service needs and trajectories, along with the outcomes of various interventions, to inform future policy and program development.

The workgroup heard about efforts in Washington State to conduct similar work, and also learned about existing systems within the Commonwealth of Virginia that could support these efforts. One effort in particular, the Commonwealth Data Trust (CDT), was presented as an option for effectively linking data across different state agencies and organizations. The CDT is already fully supported by the Commonwealth, and has the ability to link data from multiple agencies to create a de-identified data set that can be utilized for further analysis. While the CDT was presented as a viable option for achieving the objective of HJ578, additional investments will be necessary as well. These include, financial investments in upgrading information systems that collect data, as well as sufficient staff to work with and maintain this data; further analysis of potential legal barriers toward sharing specific data sets; and formation of an oversight or steering committee, supported by agency and secretariat leadership, to guide these efforts.