At Revolving Doors, we advocate for a system that addresses the root causes of offending, and for solutions that lie outside the criminal justice system for people with unmet health and social needs who commit low-level offences. We have pioneered conversations around pre-arrest diversion in the UK and, to that aim, partnered with the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) National Support Bureau in 2020. LEAD is a US-based initiative and have developed a unique programme of community-based, police-led diversion. We recently welcomed their team for a two-weeks England roadshow, exploring opportunities to import their model in the UK.
With the first three episodes of this new podcast series on creating new and better ways of policing, we take a deep dive into the LEAD model. The podcasts, which will be of interest to people working with and for the Police, services, or voluntary sector, condense years of expertise on pre-arrest diversion – but also many conversations with those who could be on the forefront of a similar model in England.
Episode 1: What is police-led diversion?
In this first episode, we discuss the inception of LEAD and how it has grown to influence almost 100 jurisdictions across the US and beyond. We hear about the LEAD team’s experience navigating unchartered waters to set up their police-led diversion scheme, and the associated challenges and achievements. Listen to Episode 1 here.
Episode 2: Policing perspectives across the pond
This second episode explores the benefits of using a harm-reduction and trauma-informed approach for people with unmet needs who commit low-level offences. With LEAD’s field expertise, we also learn about the process of developing cross-agency collaboration with the police, prosecutors, civil rights advocates and other key stakeholders. Listen to Episode 2 here.
Episode 3: Going overseas
In this third episode, we learn how the LEAD model can be exported overseas, drawing on their experience in South Africa. The LEAD team addresses some of the main takeaways from their England roadshow, and what their vision is for a UK-wide pre-arrest diversion scheme. Listen to Episode 3 here.