February 27, 2017
Contact: Jessica Morkert-Shibley, Multnomah County Communications, 971-563-3735 Jessica.Morkert-Shibley@multco.us
LEAD® pilot project aims to divert low-level drug offenders from jail to services
In an effort to reduce future criminal behavior by people involved in low-level drug offenses and reduce the number of persons of color being arrested and referred to the criminal justice system, County and City leaders are launching an innovative pilot project called LEAD® or Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD®) is a pre-booking diversion program that was developed in Seattle, WA in 2011 and has now been replicated in four other jurisdictions around the country. LEAD® allows police officers to redirect low-level offenders involved in drug activity to intensive case management tailored to the individual's needs instead of jail and prosecution. The goals of this innovative approach are to reduce the harm that a drug offender causes him or herself and the surrounding community, reduce recidivism rates for low-level offenders, reduce the number of low level offenders in jail and decrease the number of people of color prosecuted for low-level drug possession. Participation is voluntary but requires completion of an in-depth assessment within 30-days of arrest for the case not to be filed.
Central City Concern has been contracted to provide intensive case management services for LEAD® participants. The program will focus on high-pedestrian-traffic areas in and near downtown Portland. As the program progresses, stakeholders are committed to a rigorous evaluation of its impact and effectiveness and will evaluate whether LEAD® has resulted in reductions in drug use and recidivism, and is more cost-effective than traditional criminal justice response.
Monday, February 27 elected officials, law enforcement and other public safety officials will join business owners, residents and service providers in Old Town for a press conference and launch of LEAD®.
WHO: Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, Lane Borg, Executive Director of Metropolitan Public Defender Services, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Central City Concern Chief Medical Officer Rachel Solotaroff.
WHAT: Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion LEAD® launch/press conference. Elected officials, law enforcement and other public safety officials will join business owners, residents and service providers in Old Town for a press conference and launch of LEAD®.
WHEN: Monday February 27, 2017. Doors open for launch at 8:30am. Press conference will begin at 9am sharp. Event ends at 10am.
WHERE: Central City Concern’s Old Town Recovery Center Third Floor Classroom, 33 NW Broadway. Enter on Broadway and take elevator to third floor.
PARKING: Street parking is available. Paid parking is available on N.W Couch St. and Broadway and the Broadway Garage on 632 SW Pine St. Central City Concern is close to TriMet MAX yellow, orange and green lines and several bus lines.