In just three weeks, former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. also will step down as chairman of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
He told reporters Thursday that Missouri is "a leader in the drug court trend. And that is a trend that has just grown dramatically.
"You have to remember that drugs are the leading, driving force in crime in America. And, for many people to change their lives and to leave their life of crime, they have to overcome their chemical dependencies."
In his two "State of the Judiciary" speeches to lawmakers the last two years, Price has urged them to allow state courts to do more with alternative sentencing programs, to help reduce the need for more expensive prison operations.