LEAD Seattle · King County

Serving as an alternative to arrest in Seattle, WA.
LEAD Seattle · King County

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a widely replicated community-based, pre-booking diversion model that was designed and first implemented here in Seattle/King County.

While PDA now provides technical support for replicating the model statewide, nationally and internationally, our advice carries weight because we continue to do the work ourselves, in our flagship LEAD programs in Seattle, Burien, and unincorporated King County.

Creating sustainable alternatives to punitive systems for individuals who engage in illegal activity related to behavioral health needs or poverty is a struggle, and we navigate the very real challenges daily as the project management team for LEAD (which now stands for Let Everyone Advance with Dignity, recognizing that law enforcement referral, while prioritized, cannot be the only door through which individuals are identified for community-based public safety response).

The small but mighty local LEAD project management team subcontracts with multiple service providers for case management and outreach; connects with businesses and neighborhood leaders to ensure our services meet their needs; develops additional resources needed to help participants thrive and stabilize; and works to scale the model so that it can be offered in all appropriate, priority situations, so no one ever goes to jail when an alternative response would have been better, but it wasn’t available.

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  • Seattle, WA
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LEAD Seattle · King County