Return to Shift to Treatment from Punishment

City Examples

The program in Baltimore, scheduled to begin in early 2016, will be funded by a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute Baltimore that will pay for staffing, evaluation, screening and equipment over the next
year. There, officers divert low level drug and prostitution offenders with substance abuse problems into community-based treatment and support services such as housing, job training and mental health support.
Offenders sign an agreement with the prosecutor's office to get help and achieve certain goals. If they fail, an arrest warrant is issued and they are charged with the original offense, said Patrick Michaud, a spokesman for the Seattle police. "This is for people who need it and are crying out for help," Michaud said. "This is a carrot to motivate yourself to move forward. If that doesn't work out, the criminal justice system is there for you." He said the program is restricted to nonviolent offenders and excludes those involved in more serious offenses such as dealing drugs.[1]

The Police Executive Research Forum published a report in 2016 that details the development, functions, partnerships, and outcomes of the Seattle LEAD program.[2]

The Seattle LEAD program was featured in the 2016 Frontline special 'Chasing Heroin' available for free on-demand here .

Other Cities
At least eight other cities are running or in the process of launching the program, including Santa Fe, N.M.; Bangor, Maine; Los Angeles; Atlanta and Philadelphia.
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  2. ^ Police Executive Research Forum. 2016. Building Successful Partnerships between Law Enforcement and Public Health Agencies to Address Opioid Use. COPS Office Emerging Issues Forums. Washington, DC: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
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