On May 26th, 2017 Governor Hickenlooper signed the 2017-2018 Long Appropriations Bill into law, finalizing the Colorado state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1st.
This budget includes an annual $2.5 million allocation from the Marijuana Tax Cash Fund for the Department of Human Services to fund up to four LEAD pilot programs over three years.
The Department of Human Services, under advisement from the Drug Policy Alliance, is currently developing the request for proposals (RFP) for jurisdictions who are interested in this funding. The request should be public sometime this summer. In the meantime, Drug Policy Alliance invites you to learn more about LEAD and how this funding opportunity may benefit your community.
LEAD is a pre-booking (no arrest or fingerprinting takes place) diversion program model designed to bolster access to supportive wraparound services and reduce the role of the criminal justice system in the management of substance use-related problems.
LEAD is a positive avenue to reform punitive drug enforcement culture and is empirically shown to reduce recidivism, save money and improve police/community relations. It is being successfully implemented in various cities across the country including Seattle, Santa Fe, Albany and, most recently, Baltimore.
The new budget provision in Colorado creates the opportunity for jurisdictions in our state to adopt this innovative model. After a request for proposal process up to four Colorado localities will be chosen to pilot LEAD over a three year period.
Now that the FY17-18 state budget has been signed into law, Drug Policy Alliance is committed to informing the public throughout the state about this innovative funding opportunity, promoting education about LEAD and the pending RFP process, and supporting Coloradans who believe that a LEAD pilot program could potentially benefit their community.
Join the Colorado LEAD Coalition to learn more about how you, your agency/organization and locality can potentially take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
Potential ways to get involved include: