ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Albany County $1.26M in funding to support the Albany Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (Albany LEAD). The money will look to expand existing services, launch a new street-based clinical treatment initiative, and evaluate LEAD’s work to date.

“Our nation is at a crossroads when it comes to mental health, addiction treatment and policing, and Albany County’s LEAD program is serving as a template for others to follow. I want to thank the DOJ for providing this funding for our innovative program that has already provided smart alternatives to incarceration and new outcomes for hundreds of those in need of assistance,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. “This latest grant builds on previous support that we’ve received from our federal and state partners, and it will allow us to continue analyzing our performance and expanding so we can have an even greater impact on our community.”

The new federal funding is the second competitive grant Albany County has obtained for Albany LEAD through the Department of Justice’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program. The new, three-year grant is expected to support the following initiatives:

  • Additional case management capacity for LEAD in the City of Albany and other jurisdictions within Albany County ($370,000)
  • New, street-based clinical outreach and treatment to be developed in coordination with the Albany County Department of Mental Health ($356,000)
  • Independent evaluation under the direction of Dr. Tomoko Udo of the University at Albany’s School of Public Health ($245,000)
  • Project management for LEAD in newly added municipalities ($156,000)
  • Expanded data analysis capacity across the Albany LEAD initiative to identify potential operational improvements and enhance accountability ($120,000).