Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-booking diversion pilot program developed with the community to address low-level drug and prostitution crimes in the Belltown neighborhood in Seattle and the Skyway area of unincorporated King County. The program allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services, instead of jail and prosecution. By diverting eligible individuals to services, LEAD is committed to improving public safety and public order, and reducing the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program.
LEAD Press Conference - October 13, 2011
Seattle's groundbreaking LEAD program diverts low-level drug dealers and users away from the criminal-justice system. At the police officer's discretion, some of those arrested are referred to social workers for immediate help — a hot meal, a safe place to sleep — and longer-term services such as drug treatment and job training.
Belltown PI - 55 drug offenders and prostitutes chose treatment over jail through Belltown’s LEAD program
According to LEAD officials, 55 Belltown drug offenders and prostitutes chose to seek help getting off the streets rather than go to jail.
King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Tuesday the “pocket neighborhood” of Skyway is about to become a case study for a new policing policy.
LEAD discussed in new Justice Policy Institute report titled: "Rethinking the Blues: How We Police in the U.S. and at What Cost."
LEAD is listed as a community-supported policing program that has had promising public safety results. The report can be downloaded at the Justice Policy Institute's website.
A unique coalition of government officials, law enforcement agencies, and community groups are backing the innovative new LEAD program. Instead of arresting and prosecuting low-level drug offenders, law enforcement will divert them to community-based treatment and support services – a welcome alternative to the War on Drugs approach.
The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program is a local experiment aimed at breaking the cycle of arrest and incarceration for low-level drug dealers, addicts and prostitutes. Completely funded by private foundations, the $950,000-a-year, four-year pilot program offers hand-picked participants individualized alternatives to arrest, from inpatient drug treatment and educational opportunities to housing assistance.
Some smart people in King County are experimenting with breaking old, ineffective strategies in search of solutions to drug-related crime. They've started a program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD).
A pilot program in Seattle, Wash., and surrounding King County allows some low-level drug offenders to go to rehabilitation programs instead of prison. Guest host Tony Cox speaks with King County's sheriff, a public defender and a member of the Seattle police department about the bi-partisan plan.
See how an innovative new partnership is working to clean up drug traffic in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood.