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A Prescription for Information Sharing Between Law Enforcement and the Medical Community to Improve Threat Assessments

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey, United States

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Medical practitioners may have information that could be used to determine whether an individual poses a violent threat to the community. However, legal and cultural barriers often prevent information sharing between the medical field and law enforcement. This thesis examines the impact of laws and regulations such as HIPAA, FERPA, 42 CFR Part 2, and state duty-to-warn laws, and recommends a legal analysis of these laws to determine whether modifications are necessary. It suggests that states could enact individual laws that mandate information sharing between the medical community and law enforcement for the purposes of threat assessment, which would then allow release of the information under HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2. It also suggests training for both law enforcement and the medical community to ensure they understand how to apply these laws, as well as joint exercises to enhance collaboration and trust.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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