LEAD is a pre-arrest diversion program to respond to low-level, non-violent offenses (e.g., drug possession, sex work, homelessness). In St. Louis County, this program has a harm-reduction approach & is designed to divert low-risk individuals away from the criminal justice system.

Who does LEAD Serve?

  • Individuals 18+ not on probation or parole
  • History of opioid misuse or opioid use disorder
  • Committed a drug-related felony or non-violent offense
  • No disqualify criminal history

What does LEAD do?

  • An officer comes in contact with an eligible individual and refers to a LEAD member in lieu of an arrest
  • LEAD staff member does an assessment and refers the individual to the LEAD operational partners
  • After the risk/needs assessment is complete, the case is closed & no further legal action is taken.
  • If the assessment is not completed, a warrant may be issued.

LEAD resources and benefits?

  • Individuals connected to resources including:
    • Substance use treatment
    • Medications for Addiction Treatment
    • Recovery housing
    • Mental health services
    • Employment services
  • LEAD Allows individuals to avoid collateral consequences often associated with brief periods of Incarceration.
  • LEAD Reduces burden on the criminal justice system.
  • LEAD promotes positive relationships between the community & law enforcement.

If an individual does not qualify for the LEAD Program due to either the type of crime or because the crime is not justice-involved, we encourage them to visit here to view additional resources you may be eligible.