Since prosecutors, by law, retain full authority over prosecutorial decisions, only they can ensure that pre-existing cases and warrants, as well as subsequent cases, are coordinated and aligned with a participant’s intervention plan related to any diverted case. But prosecutors’ hands are not tied, and LEAD participation confers no immunity from prosecution on other cases. However, LEAD partner prosecutors recognize that pursuing another case in a standard fashion could actually compromise all the progress that case managersLEAD-style case management is the heart and soul of LEAD’s effective, coordinated system of care, one that reorients e… More and prosecutors have made with the individual. Thus, prosecutors often find it best to creatively and individually resolve non-diverted cases whenever possible to maximize the benefit of LEAD case managementLEAD-style case management is the heart and soul of LEAD’s effective, coordinated system of care, one that reorients e… More and avoid destabilizing participants.
It is typical that people who enroll in LEAD will carry with them unresolved criminal cases and warrants from the past, including cases that might now be divertible into LEAD. In LEAD, prosecutors are encouraged to support the coordination of participants’ pre-existing cases and warrants, as well as non-diverted post-enrollment casesPost-enrollment cases stem from new arrests or charges after a participant enrolls in LEAD. It should be noted that some… More, with the participant’s individual intervention plan. In this way, they help ensure that the left hand (prosecution of non-diverted cases) isn’t unwittingly undoing the good work of the right hand (case management in lieu of filing other cases).
Not prosecuting a charge against a LEAD participant isn’t “doing nothing.” To the contrary, information on the status of prior or subsequent charges for a LEAD participant should be shared among members of the OWGThe LEAD Operational Work Group (OWG) is composed of line staff, including mid-level supervisors, who carry out the day-… More, which can use its regular meetings to discuss a participant’s overall progress, and brainstorm about the approach that would best support behavior change, which in some cases might entail dismissing an old or a newer charge, holding the case to monitor progress and then dismissing if the participant has stabilized, foregoing a detention motion, supporting a warrant quash, or specific case resolutions short of dismissal. However, while prosecutors benefit from hearing the insights of other partners and particularly the case managerLEAD-style case management is the heart and soul of LEAD’s effective, coordinated system of care, one that reorients e… More, the question of how to handle the non-diverted cases is always at their discretion. Making those thoughtful decisions requires dedicated prosecutor capacity in most jurisdictions, though it adds no cases and likely reduces case volume.
“Post-enrollment cases” stem from new arrests or charges after a participant enrolls in LEAD. It should be noted that some post-enrollment cases could, confusingly, relate to incidents that took place before enrollment but that may have sat in a filing queue for weeks or months before filing. It is also common for people enrolled in LEAD to be arrested again after they entered the program, as the arc of recoveryRecovery as defined by SAMHSA is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live … More is long, change takes time, and progress is not linear.
Decisions about both pre-existing cases and post-enrollment charges should be informed by the LEAD’s Golden Rule #2Within their zone of authority and while considering insights provided by other LEAD stakeholders, every LEAD partner sh… More: Within their zone of authority and while considering insights provided by other LEAD stakeholders, every LEAD partner should do what they believe is most likely to support positive behavior change in the specific circumstances.