Judicial Assistance


Public service is very gratifying, but it can be stressful to both judges and their families. Many states offer confidential assistance programs to provide support and guidance when judges and their families are in need. This section of the website highlights examples of programs offered in some states and links to impairment assistance websites in the various states, territories, and commonwealths.  We also include timeless articles on related matters of interest.

The Judicial Assistance Initiative is composed of members of the ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (CoLAP), the ABA Judicial Division (JD) and the American Judicature Society (AJS). The mission of the Judicial Assistance Initiative is to develop a comprehensive national program that will effectively assist judges who may be depressed, chemically dependent, or have other mental health conditions that impair judicial performance.  The project seeks to identify and assist judges who may be affected by conditions that impair their judicial performance and threaten their emotional or physical safety, and uses the total wellness concept as a way to educate judges about alcohol and substance abuse, mental health issues, and stress.

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Providing Help to Judges in Distress

Major articles include:

  • In addition there are three sidebars containing personal stories by members, present and former, of the judiciary with respect to their addictions and treatments.


A Lawyer's Guide to Healing by Don Carroll-Solutions for Addiction and Depression (available from www.hazelden.org). This book received outstanding reviews in he ABA's publication "Highlights".