Maryland Diversion Program Celebrates One Year of Success

Howard County, Maryland’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD), recently marked its one-year anniversary with a 91 percent success rate, reports Kristin Danley-Greiner for Patch. The program, which offers individuals who participate in low-level crime related to mental health and substance use challenges the opportunity to be diverted to human services instead of entering the criminal justice system, now has nine fully operational sites throughout Maryland. The people who participate in the program receive a wide range of support services including housing referrals, benefit navigation, linkage to primary care, mental health and recovery resources as well as job training opportunities, and more.

There are now 52 LEAD initiatives across the country with more than 17 additional programs launching nationwide. The organization reports that the program has reduced recidivism of its participants by 58 percent and has an average cost savings of around $3,000 dollars for each participant in LEAD vs. the “system as usual” approach.

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