Law enforcement and prosecutors have a lengthy history of working collaboratively on protecting public safety in our nation’s communities. As the first responders to a criminal episode and the party primarily responsible for investigating such an incident, law enforcement officers often have critical insights on the individuals who they arrest or refer for charges. Those insights can be highly useful to prosecutors when they decide whether a given individual should be diverted, receive probation, or be incarcerated.
Just as law enforcement officers do not operate in a vacuum when making discretion calls regarding release or jail, and treatment or booking in a Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Program (LEAD) or a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) context, prosecutors should take advantage of law enforcement’s knowledge and expertise about a given offender and the circumstances of their offence in making diversion decisions. The creation of a new prosecutor-led diversion program presents an important opportunity for prosecutors and law enforcement to work together to support their mutual goals regarding the use of diversion and support each other’s efforts at accomplishing them.