Lead Agency: Public Defender Association
Program Name: LEAD
Location: Seattle, Washington
Partner Agencies: Police Departments, County Sheriff’s Office, Fire/EMS Departments, Behavioral Health agencies, City and County Prosecutors
Site population: 2,200,000
Pathway: Officer Intervention, Active Outreach, Naloxone Plus, Officer Prevention
Year Started: 2011
Seattle, Washington developed the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) model to divert individuals who would benefit from services and care coordination instead of incarceration. Analysis of Seattle drug arrests motivated the creation of the program as an alternative to jail and prosecution. The LEAD model is both a pre-arrest and pre-booking diversion program. In the pre-booking component, officers directly refer individuals to case managers. In pre-arrest, officers identify individuals who they think would benefit from treatment or services and offer assistance, without bringing charges. Individuals whose charges are not considered “divertable” but would still benefit from services and care coordination, have their case reviewed by prosecutors with an eye to special resolution alongside LEAD services. Case managers coordinate an individual’s access to services for needs such as treatment, housing, benefits, and health care. LEAD's impact on recidivism, system utilization and income sources and shelter was rigorously evaluated by an external team supported by Arnold Ventures.