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Equity and Inclusion

There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.

Mahatma Gandhi

NEW ARTICLE: Achieving Racial Equity in Pretrial Reform

Pretrial detention, which often occurs in dangerous, crowded, and unsanitary conditions, can have significant negative consequences.This burden is borne disproportionately by Black and Hispanic or Latinx persons, who are held in pretrial detention significantly longer than non-Hispanic White persons for the same charges, are more likely to plead guilty to or be convicted of the charges, and receive longer and more severe sentences for the same alleged conduct.

In their study published in Law and Human Behavior, researchers Douglas Marlowe, Timothy Ho, Shannon Carey, and Carly Chadick examined efforts by a trial court serving two counties in southern Mississippi to base pretrial release decisions on risk assessment rather than bond.


In 2010, the NADCP board of directors issued a resolution directing treatment courts to determine whether racial or ethnic disparities exist in their programs and to take reasonable corrective measures to eliminate any disparities that are identified.

The following resources have been designed to assist your program with identifying disparities and taking corrective action.

Inside you'll find:

Equity and Inclusion Toolkit

The dynamic new toolkit from NADCP designed give courts a roadmap to implementing standard II of the Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards: Equity and Inclusion. Applying this toolkit ensures your program updates its practice to be more inclusive and effective.

Equity and Inclusion Assessment Tool

From NDCI and the National Center for State Courts, an interactive tool to guide courts in measuring their inclusiveness. Data gained from this Microsoft Excel-based tool can be used to improve program outcomes for participants of diverse race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, and sexual orientation. The tool is accompanied by a user guide and handout to help users gain effective data.

User Guide

This guide provides step-by-step instructions for maximizing your equity and inclusion toolkit.


A background guide on the Equity and Inclusion Assessment Tool from NDCI and NCSC.

Watch: Using The Tool

Watch a webinar from the architects of the Equity and Inclusion Assessment Tool on its effective use.

Journal For Advancing Justice Vol. I

Journal for Advancing Justice

The first volume of NADCP's Journal For Advancing Justice features peer-reviewed research examining outcomes of the culturally proficient interventions treatment courts, as well as findings from large multisite studies conducted on  inequities in treatment court programs.

Watch: Journal Findings Presented

Treatment court research expert and Journal For Advancing Justice Editor In Chief Dr. Doug Marlowe presents the journal's findings, how the conclusions were made, and what programs can do to ensure they serve all populations, regardless of background.

This project supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

NADCP's Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards

NADCP's Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards addresses disparities in Standard II. The standards place an obligation on treatment courts to monitor for evidence of disparities and to adjust eligibility criteria, assessment procedures and treatment services.

Standard II includes guidance on ensuring:

  • Equivalent Access
  • Equivalent Retention
  • Equivalent Treatment
  • Equivalent Incentives & Sanctions
  • Equivalent Dispositions
  • Team Training

More Tools from NDCI

Equity and Inclusion Training

Training for jurisdictions to address racial disparities and bias to ensure equivalent access, retention, treatment, incentives, sanctions and dispositions.

Selecting and Using Risk Need Assessment

NDCI Fact Sheet to help you find and use a culturally appropriate risk and need assessment tool.

All Rise Magazine Winter/Spring 2021

More on the research behind equity and inclusion efforts in treatment courts and why it matters.