The Allegheny County data warehouse was created in the early 2000s by consolidating publicly funded human services data, including behavioral health, child welfare, intellectual disability, homelessness and aging. Since then, it has expanded to include 21 categories of data. Whereas the county owns much of the data that goes into the warehouse, some information is shared from external sources such as school districts, public benefits and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The data warehouse is part of the county’s commitment to building a data-driven system that improves service delivery, decision-making and communication with the public. The county’s data warehouse is a critical resource in its efforts to improve public safety through the Allegheny County Jail Collaborative.
In collaboration with the Stepping Up initiative, the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) convened a Best Practices Implementation Academy to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses and Substance Use Disorders in Jails (BPIA) in April 2018 in Alexandria, Va. SAMHSA contracted with Policy Research Associates (PRA), which operates SAMHSA’s GAINS Center for Behavioral Health and Justice Transformation, to facilitate the BPIA. This case study is part of a series highlighting the six counties that constituted the “Best Practices” teams representing the Data-Driven Justice initiative and the Stepping Up initiative at the BPIA.Standard