Across Connecticut and New York, Katal is working with municipalities and counties to develop approaches to diversion rooted in community leadership and racial equity, and focused on improving public safety and health. Pre-arrest diversion programs, if built appropriately, anchored in community groups and aimed toward racial equity, can serve efforts for advancing decriminalization, ending mass incarceration, and expanding the social safety net.
One such approach to this, is through arrest diversion programs such as Albany’s LEAD program-- Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. Albany LEAD is a community-based diversion approach with the goals of improving public safety and public order, and reducing unnecessary justice system involvement of people who participate in the program. Katal serves as the program manager for the innovative Albany LEAD program which is diverting people away from jail and into non-punitive, harm reduction oriented services. Albany LEAD is widely recognized as a national model because of its innovative use of Medicaid funding to support case management.
Additionally, Katal hosts monthly national conference calls for community groups working on developing or facilitating community-based pre-arrest diversion processes and programs. Supporting community groups in their efforts to develop these programs increases the likelihood that they will serve the movement to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization.
For more information about developing a community-based pre-arrest diversion program in your city or county, or to learn more about the national learning collaborative, please contact us!