Referral Process

There are two types of referral into LEAD:


Low-level drug offense: possession of an illicit opiate (heroin or pills) or sale of small amounts of illicit opiates for subsistence purposes​.

Social: ​

Individuals referred to for LEAD due to known recent criminal activity (prior documented involvement in possession or selling of drugs or prostitution in catchment area), recruited by officers outside of a criminal incident within the LEAD catchment area.

This is an explanation of the pre-booking diversion process:​

  • Police officer encounters a low-level offender for whom probable cause exists for an arrest, offers the program, and contacts a LEAD case manager (CM).
  • The case manager meets the police and the potential client. Initial screening is conducted.
  • Officer relinquishes custody of the person to the case manager. Officer sends the arrest record/screening document to appropriate attorney.
  • The attorney (City Attorney’s Office, County Prosecutor or District Attorney’s Office) has final authority on client eligibility. Presumption is that the charge will NOT be filed as long as the individual completes the initial LEAD intake assessment within 7-30 days of referral.

Presumptive Ineligibility

  • The amount of drugs involved exceeds 6 grams, except where an individual has been arrested for possession, delivery, or possession with intent to deliver prescription controlled opiates (pills), officers will consider the other criteria listed here without reference to the amount limitation;
  • The individual does not appear amenable to the program
  • The suspected drug activity involves delivery or possession with intent to deliver, AND there is reason to believe the suspect is dealing for profit above a subsistence income
  • The individual is under the age of 18;
  • The individual appears to exploit minors;
  • The individual is suspected of promoting prostitution;
  • The individual has disqualifying criminal history as follows: In the last 10 years: Any conviction for homicide, vehicular homicide, aggravated arson, aggravated burglary, all robbery, all kidnapping, all sex offenses, and any conviction involving firearms or deadly weapons (or attempt of any crime listed here).