Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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How a new program could change criminal law forever

When we talk about criminal defense topics on this blog, in some cases we reference the fact that the system itself needs to change. Penalties are too harsh in many cases. The evidence that is used can sometimes be flawed. The laws and designations that we make in reference to a crime or of a person accused of a crime may deal them life-long punishment, even though in a literal sense it only punishes them for a certain amount of time.

These discussions need to be had, regardless of whether a problem with the system may or may not exist, because it is the only way to improve the system. So with that in mind, today we are highlighting a program that has seen wild success while also uprooting everything you know about drug enforcement and criminal punishment.

It's happening up the coast in Seattle, though many cities across the country, including here in California, have expressed interest in it. The program is called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), and what it does is essentially bypass the traditional legal process -- with cooperation and a partnership with the police -- to afford low-level drug offenders and those accused of prostitution the chance to turn their life around.

Instead of jail, these people are given a bevy of resources and a case manager, who helps them reintegrate with society and put their old lives behind them. It has achieved a 60 percent reduction rate in recidivism for individuals that participate in the program.

Source: Drug Policy Alliance, "Report: Seattle's New Approach to Low-Level Drug Offenses Produces Nearly 60% Reduction in Recidivism," April 8, 2015

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