Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Grant Program

The BSCC contracted with an external evaluation team from California State University Long Beach to conduct an evaluation of the LEAD program in two pilot sites, Los Angeles County (LAC) and the City and County of San Francisco (SF). Launched in November 2017, the LAC and LEAD SF pilot programs are both 2.5 year initiatives designed to divert and serve people with behavioral health needs who have been in repeated contact with the police for low-level nonviolent charges. This report provides preliminary results (November 2017 through mid to late-2019) in the form of process, outcome and costing evaluations for both sites.

LEAD Evaluation by California State University Long Beachopens PDF file

Los Angeles (BSCC grant award $5,900,000)

The Los Angeles County Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LAC LEAD) program is a community based diversion program that aims to improve public safety and reduce future criminal behavior by people engaged in low level drug offenses. The site is an area in South Los Angeles around Long Beach Blvd in the communities of Lynwood, Compton and Long Beach. In this program, Law Enforcement Officers from the Long Beach Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department will identify 300 people with histories of repeated incarceration for behavioral health motivated crimes and offer them, in lieu of arrest, an opportunity to participate in a harm reduction and Housing First case management program. LAC LEAD is a result of a unique partnership between the County of Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, the District Attorney, Probation, the Health Agency's Office of Diversion and Reentry and Housing for Health divisions, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health; the City of Long Beach, including the Long Beach Police Department, the City Prosecutor, and public defenders; community organizations; and community members. The Office of Diversion and Reentry (ODR), will be managing the LAC LEAD program. The mission of ODR is to develop and implement county wide criminal justice diversion for persons with mental and/or substance use disorders, including persons who are homeless. ODR is well positioned to quickly ramp up LEAD using an existing network of service provider partners and though relationships with criminal justice partner agencies.

San Francisco (BSCC grant award $5,900,000)

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion San Francisco (LEAD SF) is an innovative pre-booking diversion program that will refer repeat, low-level drug offenders, at the earliest contact with law enforcement, to community-based health and social services as an alternative to jail and prosecution. LEAD SF participants will have access to the city's extensive system of care that includes comprehensive behavioral health services (substance use disorder and mental health treatment), physical health services, transitional housing, employment, and other relevant services. LEAD SF is a multi-agency collaborative partnership between the San Francisco Mayor's Office (applicant agency), San Francisco Department of Public Health (designated by the Mayor's Office as the lead agency), San Francisco Police Department, San Francisco Sheriff's Department, Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department, San Francisco Adult Probation Department, San Francisco District Attorney's Office, San Francisco Public Defender's Office, and the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance. LEAD SF will also include community-based organizations and a broad network of health and social service providers that represent and serve the individuals most impacted by drug/alcohol abuse and the resulting effects on community health and safety. The goals of LEAD SF are 1) Reduce the recidivism rate for low-level drug and alcohol offenders in San Francisco's Tenderloin and Mission districts; 2) Strengthen collaboration across city departments and with community-based organizations to better meet the needs of individuals with a history of substance abuse and low-level drug trafficking offenses by diverting them from the justice system and into harm reduction based social services; and 3) Improve LEAD participants' health and housing status. Over the 26-month grant period, police officers will refer 250 individuals to LEAD SF, including 200 pre-booking referrals and 50 social contact referrals. At least 100 of these individuals will work with a case manager from the Glide Harm Reduction Services or the Felton Institute (CB0s) to develop an Individual Intervention Plan and receive access to the city's network of evidence-based social and mental health services. These services are all based in harm reduction principles, and participants will receive ongoing case management to support them on their path to recovery, stable housing and economic stability

LEAD Grant RFP - Word Doc

Notice of Funds Availability - PDF

The BSCC held a Bidders’ Conference on December 13, 2016 with the purpose of providing clarity on the Request for Proposals instructions and responding to technical questions. For reference, the agenda and presentation are posted below.

Individuals who were unable to attend a Bidders’ Conference may submit questions in writing to new email.  Please note that BSCC staff cannot provide assistance or advice on the preparation of a proposal.  The BSCC will continue to accept and respond to questions about this RFP until January 30, 2017. Questions and answers will be posted on this page under FAQs.

Lead Bidders' Conference

Agenda - PDF
PowerPoint - Presentation

Have questions about LEAD? See if they are answered here

The BSCC will continue to accept and respond to questions about this RFP until January 30, 2017

Senate Bill 843, chaptered on June 27, 2016, established the LEAD Pilot Program to be administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to “improve public safety and reduce recidivism by increasing the availability and use of social service resources while reducing costs to law enforcement agencies and courts stemming from repeated incarceration”. Modeled after the LEAD Project in Seattle, Washington, up to three jurisdictions will be selected for a two-year pilot program that will divert willing low-level drug offenders and those arrested for prostitution to social service providers in lieu of prosecution. Services provided may include, but are not limited to, case management, housing, medical care, mental health care, treatment for alcohol or substance use disorders, nutritional counseling and treatment, psychological counseling, employment, employment training and education, civil legal services, and system navigation. It is expected that the grant award cycle will begin April 21, 2017 and end June 30, 2019. A report of the evaluation findings is required to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature by January 1, 2020. SB 843 appropriated $15 million from the General Fund for the project and authorized the Board to spend up to $550,000 of that amount for contracts with an outside evaluator to determine the program’s effectiveness and to contract with experts in the implementation of the LEAD program for the purpose of providing technical assistance to participating jurisdictions. The independent evaluator selected for the project is the California State University, Long Beach and technical assistance will be provided by the LEAD National Support Bureau in Seattle Washington. Pursuant to SB 843, the LEAD program shall be consistent with the following principles, implemented to address and reflect the priorities of the community in which the program exists:

  1. Provide intensive case management services and an individually tailored intervention plan that acts as a blueprint for assisting LEAD participants.
  2. Prioritize temporary and permanent housing that includes individualized supportive services, without preconditions of drug or alcohol treatment or abstinence from drugs or alcohol.
  3. Employ human and social service resources in coordination with law enforcement in a manner that improves individual outcomes, community safety, and promotes community wellness.
  4. Participation in LEAD services shall be voluntary throughout the duration of the program and shall not require abstinence from drug or alcohol use as a condition of continued participation.

To ensure successful program design and implementation, the BSCC uses Executive Steering Committees (ESCs) to inform decision making related to the Board’s programs. BSCC’s ESCs typically are composed of subject matter experts and stakeholders representing both the public and private sectors. The BSCC makes every attempt to include diverse representation on its ESCs, in breadth of experience, geography and demographics. ESCs are convened and approved by the BSCC Board, as the need arises, to carry out specified tasks, including the development of RFPs for grant funds. ESCs submit grant award recommendations to the BSCC Board for final disposition. The Board then approves, rejects or revises those recommendations. Members of the ESCs are not paid for their time but are reimbursed for travel expenses incurred to attend meetings. The LEAD Grant ESC includes a cross-section of subject matter experts on mental health and substance use disorder treatment, diversion programs, reentry, housing and other areas, including individuals who were directly impacted by the criminal justice system.

ECS Members
ESC Member Title/Organization County
David Barajano,
ESC Co-Chair
Police Chief, City of Chula Vista
& BSCC Board Member
San Diego
Francine Tournour,
EXC Co-Chair
Director, City of Sacramento
& BSCC Board Member
John Bauters Director of Government Relations,
Californians for Safety and Justice
Ellen McDonnell Deputy Public Defender,
Office of the Public Defender
Contra Costa
Kellen Russoniello Staff Attorney, ACLU San Diego
Rebecca Brown President, Further the Work Contra Costa
Brenda Grealish Assistant Deputy Director,
California Department of Health Care Services


  • Senate Bill 843 - PDF
  • Assembly Bill 1733 - PDF

LEAD Fact Sheet - PDF

LEAD Core Principles for Successful Implementation - PDF

LEAD Principles for Policing Role - PDF

LEAD Core Principles for Public Safety Groups - PDF

LEAD Core Principles for Prosecutors - PDF

LEAD Core Principles for Case Management Role - PDF

Seattle LEAD Recidivism Evaluation - PDF

Seattle LEAD Legal System Utilization and Associated Costs Evaluation - PDF

Seattle LEAD Client Outcomes Evaluation - PDF

Please see for additional information on LEAD National Support Bureau.


Colleen Stoner, Field Representative: create new emailor 916 324-9385

Daryle McDaniel, Field Representative: create new emailor 916 341-7392