Kauai launches LEAD program to help people at risk

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The long-awaited LEAD program is underway on Kauai.

LEAD stands for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion.

Under the program, law enforcement officers contact low-level non-violent offenders or individuals at high risk of arrest, and refer them into a case-management program.

The individual will have access to support services, housing and drug treatment.

The pilot project, which received $650,000 in Ohana Zone funding from the State, launched recently in Lihue.

The original LEAD program began in Seattle in 2011 and has been replicated in 34 states.

There are LEAD projects already operating on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island.

Honolulu’s LEAD pilot began in July 2018, and a recent 1-year evaluation found that participants saw a 55 percent reduction in law enforcement citations, an increased feeling of wellness, and a decrease in meth use.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.