SEATTLE – A new study is finding encouraging results for a first-of-its-kind Seattle program that aims to keep low-level drug offenders and prostitutes out of jail.
The University of Washington review released Wednesday says participants in the program were up to 60 percent less likely to be arrested in the first six months after enrolling than people in a control group.
The program, Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, places the offenders in housing, counseling, job training or whatever other services they need. Unlike with many drug courts or other programs, participants aren't threatened with jail time or with being kicked out if they relapse.
Dozens of other cities are considering replicating Seattle's program, and advocates say they expect the study's results to prompt even more interest.