Program Evaluation

Seattle's Evaluation Results

The LEAD program in Seattle, the first LEAD program, was rigorously evaluated. In this evaluation, 203 people were followed who received LEAD and compared them with 115 people who were in the control group (i.e., were arrested and prosecuted as usual).  

These findings are particularly meaningful when placed in the context of the existing interventions targeting recidivism in King County, Washington. Specifically, LEAD showed more favorable recidivism outcomes compared to the system as usual, which includes various therapeutic courts.  

The evaluation analyzed whether LEAD is more cost-effective than traditional criminal justice processing, and whether LEAD has had a positive impact on a community’s quality of life. Following is a summary of results.

The Cost

The Seattle LEAD program averages $532 per client per month. Across nearly all outcomes, statistically significant reductions for the LEAD group compared to the control group on average yearly criminal justice and legal system utilization.  

  • Jail Bookings: LEAD participants had 1.4 fewer jail bookings
  • Jail Days: LEAD group spent 39 fewer days in jail
  • Incarceration: LEAD group had 87% lower odds of at least 1 prison incarceration
  • Costs associated with Criminal Justice and Legal System Utilization: From pre- to post-evaluation entry, LEAD participants showed substantial cost reductions (-$2100), whereas control participants showed cost increases (+$5961).

For a complete report click here. 

Recidivism (i.e., new arrests)

People in LEAD were:

  • 60% less likely than people in the control group to be arrested within the first 6 months of the evaluation.

  • 58% less likely than people in the control group to be arrested.

For a complete report click here.

LEAD Santa Fe Evaluation

Santa Fe LEAD Evaluation Plan

The University of New Mexico Institute for Social Research NM Sentencing Commission is conducting the outcome evaluation of LEAD Santa Fe.  The evaluation will replicate the criminal recidivism outcome evaluation conducted by LEAD Seattle.  In addition, LEAD Santa Fe will evaluate the psychosocial outcomes of LEAD clients and the cost/benefit of the program on the criminal justice and public health systems in Santa Fe. The evaluation will focus on a 3-year pilot period of June 2014 through June 2017. For an overview of evaluation questions, indicators, and analysis click here.