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LEAD program relaunches in Augusta County

Handcuffs on desk
Handcuffs on desk(WALB)
Published: May. 31, 2021 at 11:12 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Augusta County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office has relaunched its LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion) program.

The goal of the program is to give people who are at risk for being charged with non-violent crimes a chance to be diverted to alternatives.

Local authorities will reach out to program leaders on site and allow the person an opportunity to contact LEAD before facing charges.

The program originally focused on misdemeanors and signed participants up for community service.

The new version of the program, in addition to misdemeanors, can also take felony possession charges. They also direct people to different services including substance abuse and counseling.

“We are fast and we are flexible. We can get these people into treatment very quickly. We can be very responsive to them and to any needs or crisis that may arise. We can do it on a much faster and much more informal basis,” Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Caleb Kramer said.

Kramer says he hopes the program expands into nearby cities such as Staunton and Waynesboro.

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