Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,260,648)
Expansion, Clinical Support and Evaluation: Building LEAD Further in Albany and Albany County, NY
Albany County (NY) seeks a Category 1b award of $1,260,648 to support expansion of, new clinical capacity for, and comprehensive evaluation of Albany Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. This award would support law enforcement deflection and diversion (at 100%), an embedded social worker or clinician at intercepts identified using the Sequential Intercept Model, and a field-initiated project bringing together justice and a behavioral health practitioner (both at 29%).
New, dedicated clinical capacity within the Albany County Department of Mental Health, designed in the context of Sequential Intercept Model analysis, would be added to serve LEAD clients with substance use disorders, in response to longstanding gaps in such services. A robust program of external evaluation would be provided through a partnership with the University at Albany’s School of Public Health, paired with enhanced data analysis and reporting across the initiative. Such evaluation will identify barriers to program implementation; assess program acceptability and benefits from the community perspective; and assess whether the program leads to desired outcomes.
Findings are expected to add significantly to existing literature on engagement among individuals with substance use disorders who are justice-involved, and individuals who are unlikely to participate in office-based clinical services, as well as previous research on the LEAD concept which is now in effect in more than 60 U.S. localities Expansion would include adoption of LEAD in two or more additional municipalities and addition of social contact referrals, a second pathway into LEAD to go beyond pre-arrest diversions that have been in place in the City of Albany since 2016. With this change and expansion to additional jurisdictions, proposed funding would allow an increase of approximately 75 additional clients. Among other benefits, this expansion is expected to advance racial equity by facilitating an increased emphasis on referrals of Black individuals, who historically have represented 60 percent or more of arrests in Albany but only 38 percent of all diversions. Case management is provided by Catholic Charities Care Management Services, which has been serving Albany LEAD clients since 2016 and engages in a range of harm reduction-based programs on behalf of New York State and other funders.