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Commentary: LEAD program crucial to easing drug addiction’s grip on Maine

September 21, 2016
Author: 
MARK DION AND TERESA PIERCE

Portland Press Herald - A LEAD team of professionals that include police, prosecutors and health care case managers helps provide the services that recovering addicts need, including housing, job training and health care. Communities will have flexibility in how they implement the intervention efforts. They will record the progress of program participants, including recidivism rates, and share this data with the Legislature so that resources can be allocated to programs that can present evidence in support of their efforts.

According to a University of Washington study, participants in Seattle’s LEAD program were 58 percent less likely to be arrested in the long term than those who didn’t participate. Jails and courts saved $8,000 on each participant over the course of a year.

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