Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Spring 5-10-2017

Major Department or Program



Suzanne Morrissey


This thesis discusses the LEAD program as a response to mass incarceration resulting from the U.S. War on Drugs. LEAD is a pre-booking, harm-reduction diversion program that operates through the Seattle Police Department, redirects chronic drug users and drug-related criminal activity, and addresses three major areas of life to encourage behavioral change among clients: personal relationships and support, housing, and changes in individual-police relations. Using in-depth interview and participant observation data, I mine LEAD client narratives to identify and describe turning points in users’ lived experiences of addiction, homelessness, and recovery, and consider their perspectives on harm-reduction services broadly.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Seattle (Wash.), Drug abuse, Drug control -- War on Drugs, Harm reduction -- Programs, Seattle (Wash.) -- Police Department, Rehabilitation - Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion Project (LEAD), Drug Users, Drug abuse and crime -- Prevention, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2017 -- Anthropology Department

Permanent URL

Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

Included in

Anthropology Commons



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