Response or Comment
Indiana Law Journal Supplement
In “Opioid Policing,” Barbara Fedders contributes to the law review literature the first joint scholarly analysis of two drug policing innovations: Seattle’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program and the Angel Initiative, which originated in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Even while welcoming the innovation and inspiration of these programs, she remains clear-eyed about the need to scrutinize their potential downsides. Her work is crucially timed. While still just a few years old, LEAD has been replicated many times and appears likely to be replicated still further—and to be written about much more. Inspired by Fedders’s call for a balanced take, this Response examines a variety of sources that have described the LEAD program, investigating what they tell us about the ability of commentators to examine (and contribute to) the list of the program’s costs and benefits. Part I examines the way in which the positive potential of this program is described, and possible tendencies to paint a picture that may be unnecessarily rosy. Part II turns to the other side of the equation and highlights potential risks that commentators may downplay, or even compound.