NC Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) is an advocate for implementing Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs in North Carolina. LEAD is a pre-booking diversion pilot program developed with the community to address low-level drug and crimes associated with sex work. The program allows police and sheriffs to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or sex work activity to community-based programs and services, instead of jail and prosecution. By diverting eligible individuals to services, LEAD is committed to improving public safety and public order, and reducing the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program.
Source: http://leadkingcounty.org. “LEAD” is a registered trademark held by the Public Defender Association (Seattle) for the Seattle/King County LEAD Policy Coordinating Group.
North Carolina LEAD Programs
In operation: Fayetteville Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Waynesville Police Department, Statesville Police Department, Mooresville Police Department, Catawba County local law enforcement, Burke County local law enforcement. Contact NCHRC for policy and procedure examples.
To learn more about LEAD program policies and evaluations from sites across the country, visit:
- National LEAD Bureau: https://www.leadbureau.org. This site includes a site map of updated locations of community exploring, developing, launching, or operating LEAD program.
- Santa Fe, New Mexico LEAD Program: https://www.lead-santafe.org
- Multnomah County, Oregon LEAD Program: https://multco.us/law-enforcement-assisted-diversion
- Seattle, Washington LEAD Program: http://leadkingcounty.org
LEAD Program Videos
- Sante Fe, New Mexico LEAD: https://vimeo.com/184378713
- Baltimore, Maryland LEAD: https://video.mpt.tv/video/lead-parts-1-4-l04d03/
- Seattle, Washington LEAD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofga5S4LhqQ
Technical assistance and Contact Info
NCHRC provides technical assistance to law enforcement and/or community groups looking to set up a LEAD program in NC. For technical assistance requests, please contact NCHRC’s LEAD Coordinator Melissia Larson. Melissia Larson, Law Enforcement Programs Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Team
- Melissia Larson, Law Enforcement Programs Manager: email@example.com
- Donnie Varnell (Retired NCSBI/Dare County SO), Special Law Enforcement Projects Consultant, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ronald Martin (Retired Detective Sergeant NYPD), Harm Reduction Policing Advocate: contact Melissia Larson to set up contacting Ronald Martin
- Lars Paul (Retired Fayetteville PD): contact Melissia Larson to set up contacting Captain Paul