Associated Press Published

Drug Offender Treatment Program Touts 3 Years of 'Success'


A program aimed at offering low-level drug offenders treatment instead of jail time has been deemed successful years after it began in a West Virginia county that includes the state’s capital.

WCHS-TV reported on Wednesday that Charleston city leaders say most of those who enter the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program implemented three years ago in Kanawha County are not arrested again.

The Prestera Center offers mental health services in several counties. Its addiction services director, Dana Petroff, says she has seen more than 150 offenders go through the program and that 74 percent had not been rearrested.

Petroff says LEAD is expanding into southern West Virginia and cities north of Charleston. She believes the expansion is largely based on the program’s success in and around the city.