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Visitors explain diversion program to local law enforcment

May 11, 2016
Adam Wagner

Star News - For LEAD to be successful, the visitors said, there must be buy-in on the part of patrol officers and local health care officials, who manage the cases, the visitors said Tuesday.

"LEAD is not less policing, it is an additional tool. When someone is in LEAD, they actually have a lot more eyes on them than someone who was sent through the criminal justice system as normal," said Kris Nyrop, the LEAD National Support Director at Public Defender Association, a nonprofit organization that pushes for justice system reform.

Nyrop is based in Seattle, where he works closely with the LEAD program of Seattle and King County in Washington state. There, an offender who is arrested and referred to LEAD has 30 days to complete intake forms for the program. If they do not complete those forms, they face criminal charges.

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