Hamilton County wants to steer addicted, low-level offenders from jail, into ‘life’ plan

This summer, Hamilton County will test a program that will let police reach out to drug users and other low-level offenders and, instead of jailing them, lead them to the skills and treatment they need to improve their lives.

Hamilton County commissioners are expected to vote Thursday (3/7/19) to approve the pre-arrest diversion program, an attempt to deal with the heroin and fentanyl epidemic while reducing the jail population.

The county program, which also will need approval from Cincinnati City Council, is modeled after one that started in Seattle in 2011. Called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), it has spurred 30 communities nationwide to adopt it. Another 70 are studying the program as a possibility for their cities.

Terry DeMio, Cincinnati Enquirer

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