Law Enforcement Advocate Program: An Interagency Collaboration to Enhance Community-Police Relations and Improve Outcomes for Substance-Using Offenders


  • Lilas Rajaee,

  • Julie Madden Rodriguez,

  • Lt. Steven Addison,

  • Stuart Readio,

  • Wendy Longwood

  • Authors' Note: The LEA Program is funded through the following grants: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)—TI019913; TI020921; TI023289; TI023428; TI023279; TI023686; SM059629; Office of Justice Programs (OJP)—2009-DC-BX-0093; 2010-DC-BX-0127; 2010 DC-BX-002; 2010-JW-FX-K012; Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF)—90-CD-0184.


Justice system involvement is highly correlated with substance-use issues. Untreated, substance-using offenders are likely to continue to use drugs, commit crimes, and pose a public safety risk. Strategies to address substance use in the criminal justice system often fall short in terms of integrating services and sustaining engagement among high-risk adult and juvenile populations. Law enforcement can help to bridge identified gaps by offering a community-based solution to the interrelated challenges of substance use, crime, and recidivism for offenders. The Law Enforcement Advocate Program has been effective in improving probationer compliance and outcomes, facilitating problem solving and interagency coordination, and improving community-police relations.