Missouri's chief justice-elect becomes chairman of National Association of Drug Court Professionals

22 June 2009

Missouri's chief justice-elect becomes chairman of National Association of Drug Court Professionals

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Supreme Court of Missouri Judge William Ray Price Jr., who will become chief justice of Missouri effective July 1, has been elected to a two-year term as chairman of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP). He was elected June 10 during NADCP’s annual drug court training conference in Anaheim, Calif., and he began his term June 13.

“I am honored to have been elected to this important position,” Price said. “A decade of research has demonstrated that drug courts are the most effective and cost-efficient way to fight illegal drug use, reduce crime and make significant improvements in the outcomes of substance abuse treatment. By helping people in trouble face their problems and turn their lives around, drug courts transform the lives of more than 100,000 addicts each year in this country into drug-free, productive citizens, helping to break the familial cycle of addiction.”

Drug court programs allow persons charged with nonviolent drug-related crimes to avoid prosecution by completing a yearlong program of treatment, counseling, job training and frequent drug testing. The programs’ goal is to reduce drug-related crimes and the high rate of recidivism typically seen with drug offenses.

Price became interested in drug courts while he served as president of the Kansas City, Mo., Board of Police Commissioners and was instrumental in helping to develop the first drug court in Missouri after his 1992 appointment to the Supreme Court. In addition, he pushed for legislation to formalize the Missouri drug court system and formed a statewide drug court commission. During his previous term as chief justice, from July 1999 through June 2001, Price advocated for continued and increased funding of the state’s drug court program. In April 2006, the Missouri Association of Drug Court Professionals honored Price with its annual Claire McCaskill Award for his continued efforts strongly advocating for the drug court system in Missouri. He also serves as chairman of the Drug Court Coordinating Commission of Missouri, which has more drug courts per capita than any other state in the nation.

Founded in 1994, NADCP is a not-for-profit organization that reduces the negative social impact of substance abuse, crime and recidivism by promoting and advocating judicial accountability and effective treatment through the establishment, growth and funding of drug courts; providing for the collection and dissemination of information; and providing sophisticated training, technical assistance and mutual support to its more than 19,000 members nationwide.