Navigating Information Sharing: The Role of the District Attorney

Written By|John Rosiak|Thomas Zugibe

Background

The leaders of Rockland County, NY—a diverse amalgam of working class neighborhoods that makes
up a bedroom community for many of New York City’s public servants—had a problem when it came to young people. They knew that each agency that served youth—juvenile probation, social services, mental health, and the schools—had information about the youth involved in each of those systems. But every agency was not readily sharing information. When a young person was involved in one of the county’s systems, information was gathered in a particular way, governed by particular federal or state laws, as well as requirements of the state and local agencies. Whether and how such information could be shared legally was not clear. Concern in the community about confidentiality of a student’s information—fostered by
increased attention to the privacy issue in a post-Snowden era—was palpable. The county’s
quandary is common in communities around the U.S.

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