Funding announced to expand diversion services for low-level offenders

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources had awarded $480,000 in funding to eight agencies to help expand programs that divert people with substance abuse disorder (SUD) from "the criminal justice system to community-based services."

LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) programs give safety officials another option for low-level offenders who suffer from SUD and/ or accompanying mental health issues. Participants are generally placed in a long-term treatment facility instead of jail. 

The following agencies received additional funding:

  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – McDowell  $60,000
  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – Mercer  $60,000
  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – Wyoming  $60,000
  • FMRS Health Systems, Inc.  $60,000
  • Westbrook Health Services, Inc  $60,000
  • Seneca Health Services, Inc. – Nicholas  $60,000
  • Seneca Health Services, Inc. – Greenbrier  $60,000
  • Appalachian Community Health Center, Inc.   $60,000

Read the full news release below:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has awarded $480,000 to expand the statewide capacity of Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) programs that divert adults with a substance use disorder (SUD) or a co-occurring disorder (substance use disorder and mental health issues) from the criminal justice system to community-based services.

LEAD services allow public safety officials to work with behavioral health providers by diverting low-level drug offenders to treatment and support services, rather than jail and prosecution. LEAD case managers work with participants to connect them to intensive interventions such as assertive community treatment, residential SUD services, comprehensive case management, medication assisted treatment, and other support services.

The following grant recipients were selected by DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy:

  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – McDowell  $60,000
  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – Mercer  $60,000
  • Southern Highlands Community Mental Health Center – Wyoming  $60,000
  • FMRS Health Systems, Inc.  $60,000
  • Westbrook Health Services, Inc  $60,000
  • Seneca Health Services, Inc. – Nicholas  $60,000
  • Seneca Health Services, Inc. – Greenbrier  $60,000
  • Appalachian Community Health Center, Inc.   $60,000

“The ultimate goal of LEAD programs is to improve public safety,” said Susie Mullens, Interim Director of DHHR’s Office of Drug Control Policy.  “With this funding, individuals will be provided an opportunity to get the help they need to address the issues which likely brought them to the attention of law enforcement.”

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