What is LEAD® ?

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-arrest diversion program that enables law enforcement officers to utilize their discretion to redirect persons involved in non-violent low level crimes whose real issue is substance use disorder often combined with  mental illness and homelessness. These individuals need trauma-informed, intensive case-management and other treatment and harm reduction services that the criminal justice system cannot provide. Therefore, police officers divert them from arrest, prosecution and jail (the criminal  justice system) to the services they need (the public health system).

 

 

How is LEAD® different from other diversion programs?

LEAD® provides participants with immediate resources that are not available through existing public programs. The program is the result of a commitment from law enforcement agencies, public officials, and community organizations to work together to implement a new approach to address drug and prostitution activity.

The diversion in LEAD is made at the pre-booking stage in the hopes of bypassing the costs and time entailed in booking, charging, and requiring court appearances of an individual.

Research shows that LEAD programs reduce recidivism, greatly increase people's likelihood of finding employment and housing, and result in massive savings to law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

LEAD® is a registered trademark held by the Public Defender Association (Seattle) for the Seattle/King County Policy Coordinating Group. Please refer to the LEAD National Support Bureau for more information.

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