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Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) Program

LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) offers an alternative approach to crimes stemming from mental health and substance use challenges. LEAD is designed to keep our community safe and promote health for all in Howard County.

LEAD is implemented through a collaboration among the State’s Attorney’s Office, Police Department, Health Department, Office of the Public Defender and County Government. Howard County has taken great strides to refer low level criminal offenses rooted in unmet behavioral health needs to the LEAD initiative.

 LEAD offers participants long term Case Management and Peer Recovery services to access community resources; including primary medical care, mental health and substance use treatment, legal support, housing, education and employment resources. Abstinence from drugs and alcohol are not required to participate.

How it works:

  1. An individual is referred to LEAD by a Howard County Police Officer
  2. The individual consents to participate in case management services
  3. The individual works with their case manager to create a personalized support plan
  4. The individual maintains contact with the LEAD support team to meet their goals

For more information on LEAD, contact Chris Sandmann at the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office at or feel free to reach out to Justine Muyu or Chris Collins from the Howard County Health Department at or Chris Collins at Call 667.203.1253 to speak directly with a LEAD Peer Specialist.

Read more about the LEAD Program (Baltimore Sun):

Poster for LEAD Program