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.