Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a pre-booking program that allows law enforcement officers to give low-level offenders the opportunity for rehabilitation in the place of incarceration. The goal of LEAD is to help individuals who suffer from a substance use disorder by diverting them from jails and prisons to treatment and recovery programs. The LEAD program also reduces recidivism and the workload of law enforcement professionals while improving overall community safety.

The goals of the LEAD program are to:

  • Reduce crimes related to drug use
  • Decrease recidivism
  • Lower county incarceration costs
  • Improve community-police relations
  • Reduce opioid overdose deaths


LEAD got its start in 2011 in Seattle, Washington and gave individuals referred to the program up to 30 days to report to a treatment facility.  The program has grown and expanded to Albany, NY and Santa Fe, NM and incorporated the use of social referrals from friends and loved ones.  The most recent large city success comes from Baltimore, MD where law enforcement focus on specific inner-city areas hit hardest with addiction. They incorporate wraparound care such as dedicated LEAD officers, case managers, homeless outreach coordinators, and behavioral health therapists. 

As part of ongoing efforts to combat the substance use disorder epidemic, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Office of Drug Control Policy and DHHR’s Bureau for Behavioral Health have partnered with five Comprehensive Behavioral Health Facilities to start LEAD programs. These five partnerships span 17 counties throughout West Virginia: Barbour, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, McDowell, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph, Summers, Tucker, Upshur, Webster, Wood and Wyoming. To date, there have been 86 LEAD referrals.

Helpful links:
For information or training, contact the WV LEAD Coordinator, LTC (R) Gary Krushansky, at gary.d.krushansky@wv.gov or 304-951-9475.

LEAD Regional contact map-page-001.jpg