Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion

A conversation between a recovering addict, a Seattle police officer, and a case manager on their experience as some of the first participants in an innovative harm reduction program.

The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) is a harm reduction program started in Seattle. Instead of incarcerating low level, repeat drug offenders, LEAD is a pre-booking diversion program treating addiction as a public health issue by connecting addicts to treatment services.

It costs thousands of dollars less to put someone through LEAD than it does to incarcerate them, and Seattle found LEAD participants were 58 percent less likely to be arrested than a non-participant control group.

Its success brought the attention of the White House who invited LEAD organizers to share the program with police chiefs, prosecutors, social workers and policy makers from across the country.

Tim was asked to create a video for the event. At first, it was to be documentary style, like his film The Long Night. But with less than two weeks to deadline, he came up with “The Conversation” between a recovering addict, cop, and case manager. All who were with the program at the very beginning. I worked with Tim to hash out the details of pulling off the shoot, sync the cameras (three c100s and five 5dMarkII(I)s), and setup a sketchy lighting rig that we ended up ditching for a single, giant overhead softbox.

One light, eight cameras, six crew, and a free flowing conversation between these three and we had the footage.

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Full Credits
Producer: Tim Matsui
Associate Producer: Joline Tang
Cinematography: Jessey Dearing, Matt Mills McKnight, Tim Matsui, David Ryder
Sound: Scott Waters
Editor: Tim Matsui
Studio: Flutter Studios

Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion