The Compact requires member states to share information regarding juveniles and their families when necessary for transfers of supervision of adjudicated delinquents, returns (including non-delinquent runaways), and travel permits. This information includes health information about these juveniles which is otherwise protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). However, the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows disclosures of protected health information when consistent with applicable law and ethical standards, including disclosures to a law enforcement official reasonably able to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of an individual or the public or to identify or apprehend an individual who appears to have escaped from lawful custody.
It is also important to note that since the ICJ Commission developed the UNITY system in compliance with the mandates of the ICJ statute and duly authorized rules, as well as the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy, the use of UNITY is permitted pursuant to the HIPAA exemptions with respect to both Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as well as Personal Health Information (PHI). See ICJ Ad. Op. 01-2021 (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2021). See also ICJ Ad. Op. 1-2011 (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2011).