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Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD)

Drug dealer under arrest confined with handcuffs and hands at his back, standing next to a wall. Focus on the handcuffs chain

The LEAD National Support Bureau describes a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program as “a community-based diversion approach with the goals of improving public safety and public order, and reducing unnecessary justice system involvement of people who participate in the program.”

LEAD is more than just a way to keep individuals out of the mass incarceration cycle. It’s a call to address trauma through harm-focused intervention. This case management program provides support services, care, and resources for persons accused of non-violent, low-level offenses — responding to unmet human service and public health needs, from poverty to homelessness and mental illness. The focus of LEAD is restoration without reliance on the criminal justice system to address rehabilitation and recidivism.

Current initiatives

  • Working with community organizations, agencies, and public officials, through the advisement of the LEAD National Support Bureau, to draft a LEAD pilot program for Buffalo, New York.
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