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Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program: Within-Subjects Changes on Housing, Employment, and Income/ Benefits Outcomes and Associations With Recidivism, (2017)

LEAD participants experienced an improvement in shelter & housing status and access to lawful income sources, and those gains increased with extended case management.

Last updated August 22, 2023
  • Arrest Diversion

    Arrest diversions give law enforcement officers the option of referring people to LEAD at the point of arrest (either pre- or post-arrest) for diversion-eligible offenses, instead of booking them into jail and referring them for prosecution.
  • Bureau of Justice Assistance

    The federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is a component of the Office of Justice Programs within the United States Department of Justice. BJA provides leadership and assistance (through grants, research, and technical assistance) to local programs that improve and reinforce the administration of justice in our country.
  • CARA

    The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) represents the nation’s most comprehensive effort to address the opioid epidemic, encompassing all six pillars necessary for a coordinated response – prevention, treatment, recovery, law enforcement, criminal legal reform, and overdose reversal.
  • Case Management

    LEAD-style case management is the heart and soul of LEAD’s effective, coordinated system of care, one that reorients existing resources to better meet the needs of people for whom standard models of care just aren’t effective. As a participant centered practice, LEAD-style case management operates in the streets, literally and figuratively meeting people where they…
  • CLT

    A Community Leadership Team (CLT) is part of the stewardship structure for LEAD. Composed of members who represent multiple community voices - faith community, advocacy coalitions, business organizations, and others – the CLT helps identify priorities, informs planning and development, and fosters transparency and accountability.
  • Code of Federal Regulations

    The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a compilation of administrative laws governing federal regulatory agency practice and procedures. Revised annually, it contains the whole of the daily Federal Register, along with previously issued regulations that are still current. It is divided into 50 titles, each representing a general subject area (e.g., commerce, military) and…
  • Community Referral

    Community referrals provide community partners with the opportunity to refer people who are known to chronically engage in problematic, perhaps unlawful, behavior related to behavioral health issues or poverty without police involvement and without using the emergency response system (911 or equivalent).
  • GAINS Sequential Intercept Model (SIM)

    The Sequential Intercept Model was developed as a conceptual model to inform community-based responses to the involvement of people with mental and substance use disorders in the criminal justice system. It was developed over several years in the early 2000s by Mark Munetz, MD and Patricia A. Griffin, PhD, along with Henry J. Steadman, PhD, of Policy Research Associates,…
  • Golden Rule #1

    No one in LEAD can be worse off because of LEAD — for instance, in the case where they shared information with case managers that was, in turn, shared with other partners (especially police, prosecutors, or courts).
  • Golden Rule #2

    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. This is the second of LEAD’s two Golden Rules.
  • Harm Reduction

    Harm reduction is a theory and practice that aims to reduce the level of harm (for oneself and for a larger community) that can be associated with unmanaged behavioral illness, including drug use. Rather than demanding abstinence, harm reduction focuses on opportunities to incrementally change behaviors that cause harm to oneself or others. This principle…
  • Housing First

    Housing First is an evidence-based approach to fostering stabilization by connecting people to housing as quickly as possible. It recognizes that a safe and consistent place to live is an essential precondition for other kinds of positive behavior change. Consistent with harm reduction principles, Housing First emerged as an alternative to approaches that required people…
  • Law Enforcement

    The term "law enforcement" is used throughout this toolkit to describe police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and others endowed with arresting authority; these may include campus public safety officers, environmental enforcement officers, transit authority officers, and more.
  • Liaison Prosecutor

    LEAD Liaison Prosecutors serve on the OWG and coordinate LEAD participants’ pre-existing court cases, warrants, or case filings that arise after they enroll in LEAD. They gather information from case managers on the goals of individual defendants, their progress and challenges, and the effects that pending cases might have on that progress.
  • LSB

    The LEAD Support Bureau (LSB) was founded in 2016 to respond to growing interest in LEAD replication across the United States. A project of PDA, a nonprofit organization based in Seattle, the Bureau is the only authorized resource to provide training, technical assistance, and strategic guidance on the LEAD model.
  • Motivational Interviewing

    Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a foundational technique for LEAD. An evidence-based approach to supporting positive behavior change, MI is a client-centered, collaborative style of communication designed to help people identify and achieve their goals by eliciting and exploring their own reasons for change. Using a guiding (not directive) style of communication, MI meets people where…
  • MOU

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed by the relevant decision-making authorities, documents the principal agreements being made by each of the participating entities. Typically, this is a high-level summary description of how each entity will participate in or contribute to LEAD, with an appendix addressing any specific agreements about logistics and operations of the PCG.…
  • Net-Widening

    Net-widening is the phenomenon in which a society or community increases the array of behaviors (and thus people) subject to control by the criminal legal system. Net-widening can occur when policies and practices explicitly intended to reduce criminal legal involvement paradoxically result in a larger number of people being caught in the criminal legal net.
  • Operational Protocol

    The operational protocol details eligibility criteria, divertible charges, a strategy for prioritization of referrals when volume exceeds capacity, referral policies and methods, agreements on documentation, and operating agreements that detail relevant duties and roles specific to each operational partner.
  • OWG

    The LEAD Operational Work Group (OWG) is composed of line staff, including mid-level supervisors, who carry out the day-to-day operations of LEAD. The members are appointed by the PCG and typically include police officers, assistant prosecutors, public defenders, case managers, other service providers, and community leadership representatives. The OWG provides a common table to collectively…
  • PCG

    The Policy Coordinating Group (PCG) is made up of decision-makers and community representatives who are collectively responsible for shepherding the overall initiative: setting goals and policies, defining diversion-eligible offenses, approving protocols, overseeing data and evaluation, selecting service providers, overseeing project management, identifying funding and resources, and managing strategic development. The PCG is made up of…
  • Post-Enrollment Cases

    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…
  • Project Manager

    The Project Manager (PM) is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the LEAD initiative and managing its day-to-day activities. A trusted partner of all partners and key staff position, the Project Manager serves as resource and liaison to both the PCG and the OWG. LEAD is a consortium of politically independent actors; therefore it is…
  • Recovery

    Recovery as defined by SAMHSA is "a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential."
  • ROI

    The multi-party release of information (ROI) is the essential precondition for ongoing care coordination among LEAD operational partners, allowing case managers to share information as needed and appropriate with police, prosecutors, judges, other care providers, and even neighborhood businesses and government officials, if to do so is in the participant’s interest.
  • SAMHSA

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families. It represents an…
  • Social Contact Referral

    Social contact referrals give law enforcement officers the opportunity to refer people whose law violations may be related to behavioral health issues or poverty without waiting for a potential arrest.
  • Warm Handoff

    A LEAD warm handoff describes the process by which a LEAD participant is diverted out of the criminal legal system and into LEAD’s community-based case management. In a LEAD warm handoff, rather than making an arrest, a police officer calls the LEAD case management, who comes to the scene or the police station to meet…

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Founded in 2016 to respond to growing interest in LEAD replication across the United States, the LEAD Support Bureau is the only authorized resource to provide training, technical assistance, and strategic guidance on the LEAD model.
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Produced by the LEAD Support Bureau, this toolkit is designed to support communities that are exploring, developing, launching, or operating LEAD initiatives. It is intended to complement the customized technical assistance available through the LEAD Support Bureau.
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