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Albany’s New LEAD Program Aims to Help Low-Level Offenders, Rather than Incarcerate

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Albany’s New LEAD Program Aims to Help Low-Level Offenders, Rather than Incarcerate, TWC News, Geoff Redick, June 25, 2015.

Excerpt: “Alice Green has battled against mass incarceration for years, decrying police tactics and a justice system which she says forced young black men behind bars, by the thousands. On Thursday, the Albany resident and activist finally got fulfillment for her fight. “It’s a grand moment, I think,” said Green, after a news conference to announce Albany’s new LEAD program. LEAD, or Law Enforcement Assisted Diverson, is an initiative that gives police officers the option to forgo an arrest during low-level crimes, and instead divert offenders to a city case worker, who will enter them into drug therapy or other social services.” Continue>>

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Program takes aim at recidivism

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Program takes aim at recidivism, Times Union, June 26, 2015.

Excerpt:  “Dr. Alice Green of the Center for Law and Justice, center, speaks during a ceremony at police headquarters to sign a memorandum of understanding for the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program to reduce low-level arrests, racial disparities and recidivism Thursday in Albany.” Continue>>

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Albany City and County to develop LEAD Program

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Albany City and County to develop LEAD Program, ABC 10, Carmen Chau, June 25, 2015.

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Albany LEADs the way with new Police Initiative

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Albany LEADs  the way with new Police Initiative, CBS6, June 25, 2015.

Excerpt: “Albany’s police chief, along with law enforcement and civic leaders put their pens to paper Thursday–signing a memorandum of understanding.   The act signifies support for the ‘LEAD’ program, a new law enforcement initiative.   Launched in Seattle four years ago, ‘LEAD’—or  Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion—gives police the tools to refer low level offenders to treatment and other social services instead of arresting them and sending them to jail.” Continue>>

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Albany City, County Co-develop LEAD Program To Reduce Low-Level Arrests

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Albany City, County Co-develop LEAD Program To Reduce Low-Level Arrests, WAMC, Dave Lucas, June 25, 2015.

Excerpt: “Dr. Alice Green, director of the Center for Law and Justice, gave opening remarks: “I stand here in what I believe to be one of the grandest moments in the history of the city and the county of Albany. I stand here with some leaders who are key to our community. And we collaborated for a long period of time and they brought us to this moment of agreement, which is fantastic… ”  Green talking there  about officials who collaborated on and eventually greenlighted LEAD: the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program. It’s recognized as a gamechanger in its birth city, Seattle, where re-arrests have dropped a staggering 60 percent since its implementation in 2011.” Continue>>

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19 county task forces look to end recidivism

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

19 county task forces look to end recidivism, The Legislative Gazette, Danyal Mohammadzadeh, June 22, 2015.

Excerpt: “In hopes of making New York a safer place, formerly incarcerated New Yorkers would receive $3.3 million funded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to build a positive future through re-entry task forces in 19 counties. The funding was administered by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services which works in partnership with nonprofit organizations to coordinate services for offenders who are released from prison.” Continue>>

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Albany program would divert low-level criminals from jail

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

Albany program would divert low-level criminals from jail, Times Union, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, June 25, 2015. 

Excerpt:”Police officers would have the discretion to send low-level criminals to social services case managers, not jail, under a diversion program that city and county officials hope will stop clogging the court system with chronic offenders who need other forms of help. The LEAD program, short for law enforcement assisted diversion, is aimed at rolling back large-scale incarceration for minor crimes in favor of getting the criminals access to the services and counseling they need to stay out of the justice system over the long-term. Officials said the program will save taxpayers money and will make the city safer by allowing police and prosecutors to spend more time combating violent crime. The program would be just the third in the country after Santa Fe, N.M., and Seattle, officials said. Continue>>

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City and County of Albany to Develop Innovative, Evidence-based Process to Reduce Low-Level Arrests, Recidivism, and Racial Disparities

Posted on Jun 26 , 2015 in News

City and County of Albany to Develop Innovative, Evidence-based Process to Reduce Low-Level Arrests, Recidivism, and Racial Disparities, The Drug Policy Alliance, June 25, 2015.

Albany – Today, city and county officials and community leaders announced that the City and County of Albany will be developing an innovative program to reduce recidivism while advancing public safety and public health. The program is known as Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD. Under LEAD, police officers may exercise their discretion and divert individuals for certain low-level criminal offenses like drug possession; instead of being arrested and going through the regular criminal justice process, the individual is referred to a case manager, who then facilitates access to a comprehensive network of social services.

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion was launched in 2011 in Seattle. LEAD emerged from a growing consensus that the war on drugs has failed, its associated racial disparities are unacceptable, and there is a need for innovative, effective approaches to reduce the number of people unnecessarily entering the criminal justice system. Santa Fe became the second jurisdiction to implement the program in 2014. Albany is the first East Coast city and the third city in the nation to begin developing LEAD. Continue>>

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Sheehan taps Brendan Cox as next Albany police chief

Posted on Jun 22 , 2015 in News

Sheehan taps Brendan Cox as next Albany police chief, Times Union, Jordan Carleo-Evangelist, June 18, 2015. 

Excerpt: “Alice Green, a longtime social justice activist in the city, said those protests never boiled over to violence in Albany as in other places in part thanks to the work of Krokoff and Cox.”He called me — I was out of the country — and said, ‘This is what happened,’ ” said Green, executive director of the Center for Law & Justice. “And that’s really special, and I think that speaks well of who he is and what his commitment is.”One of his challenges will be ensuring the new ethic of responsiveness at the top translates to the way every officer deals with citizens on the street, Green said.” The one thing that was still troublesome to us,” she said, citing a recent study by the center, “is how do we get the department to change the culture so that people on the street — particularly in our community — get treated the same way as other people.”” Continue>>

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Advocates Push To Bring Solitary Confinement Out Of The Shadows

Posted on Jun 12 , 2015 in News

Advocates Push To Bring Solitary Confinement Out Of The Shadows, NPR, Carrie Johnson, June 9, 2015.

Excerpt: ”

By last count, the Justice Department estimates about 80,000 U.S. inmates live in some kind of restricted housing. That means being confined to a cell for about 22 hours a day.
“You are going to eat, sleep and defecate in a small room that’s actually smaller than the size of your average parking space,” said Amy Fettig, a lawyer who runs the Stop Solitary campaign for the American Civil Liberties Union. “And you’re going to do that for months, years and sometimes even decades on end. Fettig said solitary confinement is brutal and expensive.” Continue>>