LEAD of Hamilton County helps low-level offenders avoid incarceration

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, a new local service is being touted that provides mental health and other important resources to help keep low-level offenders out of the criminal justice system.

Photo courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion of Hamilton County is currently offered in select precincts downtown. The LEAD initiative allows for police officers to utilize their discretion to divert individuals from the cycle of arrest to community based, harm-reduction intervention. In lieu of the criminal justice system cycle – booking, detention, prosecution, conviction, incarceration – individuals are instead referred to intensive case management services where the individual receives a wide range of support services.

  • Hamilton County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board
  • Mental Health Access Point, a division of Central Clinic
  • Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health
  • Talbert House

Evidence shows that access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment reduces crime. 

LEAD will hold a public symposium on Thursday, May 20, 3 p.m., to showcase how the program is being implemented within neighborhoods around Cincinnati, as well as to provide testimonials from law enforcement and community leaders about how the program has made a positive impact. 

The event is free, but advance registration is requested.


The main LEAD office is located at 1000 Sycamore St. South Building, Room 114, Cincinnati, OH 45202. LEAD staff operates out of this office on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, LEAD staff operates out of the Colerain Police Department at 4200 Springdale Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45251. On Fridays, LEAD staff operates out of the Norwood Police Department Substation located at 1810 Courtland Ave., Norwood, OH 45212. Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 513-946-PLAN (7526)


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