As a model pre-arrest diversion program, the Leon County/Tallahassee PAD/ACC program holds offenders accountable for their crime; but, instead of being arrested and prosecuted by the traditional criminal justice system, the person receives civil sanctions, e.g. community service, and behavioral health intervention services. The essential elements of the program, following referral by law enforcement, are the use of evidence-based behavioral health intervention services to reduce the likelihood of future criminal activity and the avoidance of an arrest record for those who successfully complete the program. The decision to arrest or refer for behavioral health assessment and intervention services is best made by the law enforcement officer who is on the scene and understands the nature of the offense at the time it occurred.
Community collaboration has been a critical factor in establishing the program. Before the program started all key criminal justice officials, City of Tallahassee Commission, and the Leon County Board of County Commissioners all agreed to establish a pilot project. The approved project included an independent evaluation process to determine the model's efficacy. The statistical information in this report results from the research conducted by Dr. Albert Kopak, Western Carolina University, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice.Cover letter and report attached.