Presentation on theme: "A comprehensive initiative by government and non- government, multi-agency and community partnership to divert non-violent, low level drug dealers away."— Presentation transcript:
A comprehensive initiative by government and non- government, multi-agency and community partnership to divert non-violent, low level drug dealers away from jail and toward a productive life while making resident’s feel safer and saving money.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Challenges - before Significant business and resident complaints of drug related street disorder Significant concerns of disproportianate impact on people of color – ‘now’ and later. Many of those arrested were only ‘subsistence’ sellers. Very expensive for everyone involved. Many sellers would be released and re-arrested.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Working toward a solution Very committed police captain asked a very committed attorney who litigated against the Seattle Police/Prosecutors “What would you do for the community?”. Numerous ‘stakeholders’ including ACLU, public defenders, police, prosecutors, elected officials and community met for over a 18 months to define the issues and agree on moving forward. Concurrent work toward obtaining outside funding to support the effort. Defined thresholds for allowing/disallowing candidate participation. Convened street officers and supervisors to ‘table top’ and trouble shoot the planned operation.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Eligibility for L.E.A.D.: Less than 3 grams of drugs being sold/in possession or a prostitute. The individual is amenable to diversion The person is a ‘subsistence’ dealer, not ‘for-profit’ Person does not exploit others/minors for sales The person does not promote others for prostitution Generally, the person has not committed murder, arson, robbery, rape, assault /gun violation, and no conviction in the last 10 year of related but lesser crimes.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Basics of pre- booking diversion: Days and times for eligibility are pre-determined by service providers & police commanders – officers are ‘blind’ until first arrest. Once arrest is made and person is eligible, officer meets service provider at precinct. Paperwork is completed & forwarded to prosecutor, who will withhold charging unless the person shows non-compliance later. Imperative that no booking occurs, officers have ‘buy-in’ and there is immediate access to needed services for qualified sellers.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Core operating principles: Immediate access to needed services v simple ‘referral’ Non-displacement of other treatment candidates. Over-all philosophy is harm reduction; we know there may be relapse and falls. No time limit for participation as long as the person shows continued desire to improve, but certain services may be withdrawn. Constant communication and case management between agency/service provider partners.
Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Seattle Funding partners – grants provided for 4 years: Ford Foundation Open Society Foundation RiverStyx Foundation Vital Projects Fund Massena Foundation Social Justice Fund Northwest