The End of an Era at NADCP: West Huddleston Steps Down

If you have any connection to drug courts you know of West Huddleston. He has been a remarkable force in advancing drug courts.


The End of an Era at NADCP


On May 8, 2015, after seventeen years of incredible service with the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP), West Huddleston will step aside as Chief Executive Officer to serve as a Vice President and General Manager of  AMS-Scram Systems , the industry leader in cutting-edge justice technology.  We are so proud of what has been achieved under his leadership and we know that his impact on our system of justice and treatment will continue and be felt for many years to come.

West has dedicated the past twenty-five years of his professional life to pioneering programs that blend compassion with accountability to bring treatment and recovery to individuals caught up in the justice system. For nearly two decades at NADCP, he has given us his heart and intellect, his talent and passion. His impact on the justice system stretches to nearly every community in the United States and numerous countries across the globe.

After helping start and turn NADCP’s National Drug Court Institute (NDCI) into the preeminent source of advanced education, research and scholarship to the Drug Court field, West was unanimously board-appointed as CEO of NADCP in 2006. As CEO, West made his vision, our mission, “to put a Drug Court within reach of every American in need”. He rallied the field and pushed Congress for the expansion of Drug Courts and to apply the model to other populations including DWI offenders, native communities, juvenile and child protection cases, and most recently, to our veterans. In doing so, West founded NADCP’s National Center for DWI Courts and Justice For Vets.  Most recently under his leadership, NADCP has developed Best Practice Standards for Adult Drug Courts that are revolutionizing program operations to achieve an even greater impact.

As a national steward of the Drug Court, DWI Court and Veterans Treatment Court movement, he initiated a public policy strategy to bolster federal funding, and a public relations strategy to make Drug Courts, DWI Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts a household name. When West joined NADCP there were 347 Drug Courts and when he became CEO, the federal appropriation was $20 million. Today, there are 2,966 Drug Courts, DWI Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts and the federal appropriation is $104 million with another $260 million dedicated in state budgets. Millions of citizens have been exposed to the life-saving promise of Drug Courts through West’s All Rise campaign, celebrity PSAs and massive national media coverage.

West’s leadership and relentless belief that no individual is beyond hope is not his greatest legacy.  His impact extends beyond policy, publications and best practices; it can be found in the faces of those who were actually given life-saving treatment and a real shot at recovery in one of the many programs he has fought so hard to enable.

To honor his immeasurable impact on the justice system, the treatment court field, NADCP and the lives of those we serve, West will has earned our respect and upmost gratitude.  However, he is not leaving Drug Courts.  He will continue to be involved in an advisory capacity and special position at NADCP for years to come.

During this time of transition to new leadership, NADCP remains as strong and vibrant as ever, representing over 30,000 professionals in Drug Courts, DWI Courts, Veterans Treatment Courts, and Mental Health Courts throughout the nation and the world.

As Board Chair I will lead a national search process for a CEO to carry on the proud legacy fostered by West Huddleston.   In the meantime, with the deep bench of beloved and skilled leaders of staff and advisors, NADCP will continue its amazing work to ensure that Drug Courts, DWI Courts and Veterans Treatment Courts are championed, supported and celebrated.

I thank you for your ongoing support of NADCP, and most of all, for the life-saving work you do each and every day.


Judge Keith Starrett

Chairman of the Board





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