ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A program that helps put some criminals in treatment instead of jail is expanding.

The Bernalillo County and APD Southeast Command will now take part in the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program also known at LEAD. Instead of filing charges against people they arrest for low-level crimes like drug possession, officers can take them to a detox facility.

Police say it’s not a get out of jail free card.

“As long as they’re seeing progress with their casework and the case manager, they can stay in the program which is very important. We want to get them help instead of taking them to jail. It breaks that cycle so we can focus on underlying causes of crime,” said APD Deputy Chief Eric Garcia.

Similar programs exist in Santa Fe, Seattle, and several cities in Colorado.