Behavioral Health Services

About Us

LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) is a pre-booking diversion program that aims to improve public health and to end the cycle of recidivism. Instead of being charged and booked following an arrest, the arresting officer identifies the arrestee as a potential participant for the diversion program and subsequently connects them with a case manager. This case manager then provides a holistic approach to connecting the individual with resources such as housing and substance use treatment services or enrolling the participant in vocational training courses. The main principle of LEAD is collaborative partnerships between local law enforcement, district attorney’s offices, sheriffs, treatment providers, and other community stakeholders.


•Reduce the harm a low level drug or other offender causes him or herself, as well as the harm that that individual causes the community

•Reduce drug and alcohol abuse/use

•Treat untreated or undertreated mental and physical health challenges

•Reduce jail and emergency room recidivism rates for program participants, allowing the criminal justice system to focus on more serious offenders

•Improve the wellbeing of program participants



•Interest regarding LEAD has been around for at least 3 years and has been championed by Commissioner Hart-Stebbins, the CJCC and others

•The McCune Foundation even funded community and business leader meetings in the Downtown area to assess interest in and support for LEAD

•Successful Innovation Fund Grant (MacArthur Foundation and Urban Institute, October, 2018)




Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion project (LEAD)

Bernalillo County and DBHS, in collaboration with Albuquerque Police Department (APD), Bernalillo County Sheriff, the District Attorney’s Office, and Office of the Public Defender have implemented a LEAD program that appropriately diverts non-violent adults with a Serious Mental Illness and/or Substance Use Disorder from the criminal justice system to community-based alternatives and services prior to arrest and booking.

Department Of Behavioral Health Services
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