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Collaborative Justice Unit - Prosecuting Attorney's Office

Learn more about the unit including programs involving cases typically filed into Superior Court.

Collaborative Justice Unit

The Collaborative Justice Unit is comprised of the diversionary programs at the KCPAO that would involve cases typically filed into Superior Court. The unit is focused on connecting individuals who encounter the criminal legal system with services to address their underlying issues.

The current programs in this unit include:

Drug Diversion Court

King County Drug Diversion Court is a minimum 10-month program started in 1994. The goal is to ensure community safety and empower participants to rebuild their lives. Eligible defendants charge with drug and property crimes complete substance use disorder and mental health treatment.

Your pending charges are dismissed after graduating the program. The program has 5 phases, including regular treatment sessions and random urinalysis. If you don't complete all 5 phases of the program, you are sentenced on the original criminal charge.

No on accused of a violent crime can move their case to King County Drug Diversion Court. Cases moved to Drug Court also cannot involve a weapon. People with a history of sex crimes, violent felony offenses, or felony assault are not eligible—no matter how old the case is.

At the time of its founding, this court was the 12th drug court in the country. Currently, there are drug courts in every state and 3,130 nationwide. The program is a minimum of 10 months, but the average graduate requires 18 months. An estimated 350 individuals receive treatment in the program at any 1 time in King County.

From August 1994 through 2019, the program had 2,589 graduates. Drug Diversion Court graduations are typically held monthly, except for December, at the King County Courthouse.

Learn more about Drug Court

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD Diversion Program)

Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is the first known pre-booking diversion program for people arrested on narcotics and prostitution charges in the United States. Launched in October 2011, LEAD is the product of a multi-year collaboration involving a wide range of organizations, including The Defender Association’s Racial Disparity Project, the Seattle Police Department, the ACLU of Washington, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Seattle City Attorney’s office, the King County Sheriff’s Office, Evergreen Treatment Services, the King County Executive, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and others. Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) was developed with the community to address low-level drug and prostitution crimes in the Belltown and other downtown neighborhoods in Seattle and unincorporated King County. The program allows law enforcement officers to redirect low-level offenders engaged in drug or prostitution activity to community-based services, instead of jail and prosecution. By diverting eligible individuals to services, LEAD is committed to improving public safety and public order, and reducing the criminal behavior of people who participate in the program.

Learn more about LEAD

Therapeutic Alternative Unit (TAD Diversion Program)

For years, the United States spent staggering amounts of money to imprison people for low-level, non-violent crimes related to mental health issues, addictions, and substance abuse. Jails and prisons reached maximum capacity. Upon release, people re-offended and cycled back into the criminal justice system as recidivism rates remained high. Criminal justice experts have turned to therapeutic courts to keep people out of prison while keeping communities safe. In King County, Regional Mental Health Courts, Regional Veterans Court, and CARD (Community Assessment and Referral for Diversion) are committed to helping people find and receive treatment and services.

Learn more about therapeutic courts