Cross-systems data integration in Michigan counties

March 2022


Data integration brings together information from multiple sources to enhance collective knowledge among stakeholders, increase data-driven decision-making and foster continued collaboration across community systems. By building a sustainable data system and technical infrastructure, stakeholders can routinely track and report on outcomes of interest including four key indicators: 

  • prevalence of persons with behavioral health concerns in the jail.
  • length of jail stay.
  • connections to mental health and substance abuse treatment.
  • recidivism.

How it helps

Integrated data can help counties:

  • build evidence-based support for funding access and allocation.
  • measure impact of policy and service changes.
  • identify service gaps and needs.
  • closely monitor services provided to at-risk populations.
  • prioritize concerns and community action steps.
  • collaborate across community systems.

How it works

  1. Integration of data from the community behavioral health provider and jail that make up key measures of progress.
  2. Analysis of data relevant to progress measures.
  3. Reporting of results to community stakeholders that summarize progress and provide insight about concerns.

Data integration 

Data integration consists of three main processes:

four puzzle pieces fitting together, with icons showing mental health and jail
icon representing analysis
icon representing reporting

Sample Integration Framework

Integration (Jail)

  • Jail data produced with inmate screening results.
  • Data securely sent to CMH on regularly-scheduled basis.

Integration (CMH)

  • CMH receives and processes jail data.
  • CMH matches records with those found in jail data to create merged data set.


  • CMH IT analyze merged dataset based on key measures.
  • CMH maintains secure warehouse for merged data.


  • CMH produces report to summarize  analysis findings.
  • Reports provided to stakeholders on an on-going basis.


Stepping Up is a national initiative aimed at reducing the number of people with mental illness in county jails. The CBHJ provides free technical assistance to Stepping Up counties in Michigan with the support of the Mental Health Diversion Council and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. One component of this assistance involves developing systems for counties to track their own progress by integrating and reporting on data from the jail and community mental health.