NADCP Promise:
To champion proven strategies within the judicial system that empower drug-using people to change their lives.

NADCP Mission:
We will not rest until there are Drug Courts within reach of every American in need.

The National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 1994 by pioneers from the first twelve Drug Courts in the nation.

This extraordinary group of innovative judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and clinical professionals created a common-sense approach to improving the justice system by using a combination of judicial monitoring and effective treatment to compel drug-using offenders to change their lives.

From those visionaries came the Drug Court movement and ultimately the broader “problem-solving court” principles taught in law schools and utilized in everyday court practice throughout numerous municipal, state and federal court systems nationwide. Today with 3,057 Drug Courts in operation in all 50 states and U.S. territories, NADCP has forever changed the face of the justice system.


NADCP Early Victories (click here) >>>


One of NADCP’s earliest victories was the passage of the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.” With NADCP’s consultation, the bill authorized Drug Courts and obtained unprecedented support by the U.S. Congress and federal administration. That single piece of legislation is responsible for the explosive growth of Drug Courts nationwide.

NADCP recognized in 1995 that Federal support to seed the implementation and initial operation of Drug Courts was critical, but that long-term sustainability must be the responsibility of the state and local stakeholder. NADCP developed model state legislation and provided early guidance to state legislatures that lead to authorizing legislation and/or appropriations in 33 states.

Understanding that sustainability of such a radical judicial innovation would also require enduring principles, NADCP convened a blue-ribbon panel in 1996 and published the defining document of the Drug Court model, Defining Drug Courts: The Key Components. Since its release in 1997, every adult Drug Court in the nation has been built on these guiding principles.

NADCP has also been at the forefront of expanding the proven adult Drug Court model to other problems that emerge in the courts such as juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, drug endangered children, impaired driving, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence, prostitution, and community reentry from custody.

As the premier national resource for Drug Court practitioners, NADCP established a specialized institute in December 1997. Today, the National Drug Court Institute is the preeminent source for comprehensive training and cutting-edge technical assistance to the entire Drug Court field. Since its inception, the institute has trained 36,641 drug court professionals in all 50 states and U.S. territories as well as seven countries and developed 37 publications, disseminating them to 456,166 professionals worldwide.

NADCP also provides training to over 3,000 Drug Court and problem-solving court professionals annually at its national conference; the largest training conference in the nation addressing substance abuse and crime.

In 2006, NADCP launched a massive campaign to put a Drug Court within reach of every American in need. NADCP has aggressively pursued its vision and achieved a renewed commitment for Drug Courts among Congress and the general public alike. A national rally on Capitol Hill; 890 face-to-face Congressional visits; numerous press conferences; two major research announcements; Congressional testimony; and an ongoing media blitz that landed Drug Courts and NADCP on all major television networks and in Newsweek, USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times and countless other newspapers, resulting in a staggering 50% increase in federal funding in 2007, and a historical 250% increase in federal funding for Drug Courts this year. Additionally, on July 1, 2009 NADCP launched its new public awareness campaign, ALL RISE, starring ten celebrities in a series of national public service announcements which introduces a broad group to NADCP's efforts to improve justice.

NADCP has tirelessly championed a new justice model that works significantly better than business as usual.

With its heart and grit, NADCP has greatly influenced not only every Drug Court and problem-solving court in the nation, but sparked and advanced enduring principles that have forever changed how justice is delivered in the courtroom to those who need help.


NADCP COO Terrence Walton discusses how treatment courts became the foundation for justice reform
New Hampshire Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau offers a powerfull TED Talk on Drug Courts
Drug courts can be a good strategy for treating the U.S.’s twin epidemics of substance abuse and mass incarceration. But they need to be used more often, and more carefully.
But this is the way it should be: routing people away from prison as opposed to sending people whose criminality is treatable behind bars.