One of LEAD’s two Golden Rules is that no participant can be worse off because of LEAD. For example, LEAD can do no harm as a result of a participant sharing information with their case manager or a case manager appropriately sharing information with police and prosecutors.
Violation of this rule will quickly collapse the information-sharing environment that makes the program work. LEAD is not immunity for future unlawful conduct, and no partner’s hands are tied as to how they will respond to future problematic behavior. But enforcement action against a participant has to be something that would have otherwise occurred but for their participation in the program – it cannot occur based on information police or prosecutors received through LEAD care coordination.
Concretely, this Golden Rule means that:
- Case managers must not be subpoenaed to provide evidence against their participants in any pretrial diversion revocation proceeding.
- Information provided by a case manager to judges or prosecutors or probation officers cannot be the basis of adverse action against the participant.
- Courts and probation departments cannot substantively supervise the individual progress of the participant. Case managers can confirm that they are working with the individual, can share information about progress pursuant to the multi-party ROI, can share information about barriers and resource limitations, and can help court and probation gain insight about prospects for further progress and interim goals. However, they should not provide any specific information that would or could prompt enforcement or revocation steps. They should at all times be truthful and not create a false impression, but rather than provide specific information about any law violations or problematic activity, the case manager should inform the court that “there is nothing helpful to report at this time.”
Template assessment confirmation and progress report forms reflecting those limitations, and a template Memorandum of Understanding with courts interested in referring individuals with filed pending cases, are available from the LEAD Support Bureau.