City of Louisville launches new program aimed to combat drug epidemic

City of Louisville launches new program aimed to combat drug epidemic

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new program launching in Louisville will try to steer those in trouble with drugs away from jail and onto a better path.

It's called the LEAD program, standing for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion.

The community-based effort steers people suspected of committing non-violent, low-level drug-related offenses away from the criminal justice system and into treatment.

Modeled after a Seattle case management program, participants were 58 percent less likely to be arrested after being enrolled in LEAD.

"In many cases these people mean no harm." Mayor Greg Fischer said. "They're struggling with disease. I'm proud of the way our city can talk about that as a brain disease issue. Throwing them into jails and courts that are already overcrowded and backlogged doesn't serve their needs or the city's needs."

A federal Justice Department grant will help fund the project.

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