Monday, April 4, 2016
NYS Health Foundation Supporting Model Justice Reform Program
Yesterday marked the launch of Albany’s innovative Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, making New York’s capital city the first jurisdiction on the East Coast, and only the third in the nation, to launch LEAD. Albany’s reform approach highlights the growing role cities are playing in the growing national movement to end mass incarceration and the failed war on drugs.
LEAD is a harm-reduction oriented program to reduce low-level arrests and recidivism. In LEAD, instead of making an arrest, police officers exercise their discretion to divert individuals for certain criminal offenses (including low-level drug charges) directly to a case manager, who then facilitates access to a comprehensive network of services. Rather than entering the maze of the criminal justice system, the individual receives intensive, harm reduction-oriented case management and targeted social services, with greater coordination among systems of care. . .
Foundations and businesses came together to back the project: the New York State Health Foundation supported the LEAD planning process and encouraged efforts to leverage opportunities around Medicaid in New York State. . .