JCJ Volunteers

JCJ volunteers are members of the judiciary who have a sincere desire to assist a colleague in distress. Some have experienced the pain, embarrassment and frustration arising out of substance abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, eating disorders, or various compulsive behaviors. Others have struggled with anxiety, depression, bipolar, or other mood disorders. And there are volunteers who have overcome other types of obstacles and challenges that could have been their undoing. Some have experience with mental health and drug courts. What they all have in common is a willingness to listen and offer their support in the safety of a confidential judges’ assistance program (JCJ).


Matching You to a Volunteer

If you wish to talk to a JCJ volunteer, we will match you with a judge of the same level; e.g., if you are a Common Pleas Court Judge, your volunteer will be a Common Pleas Court Judge.

We also seek to match you with a volunteer who has successfully dealt with the same difficulties you are experiencing. We look for someone with whom you will readily identify based upon career background, age, gender, etc. If necessary, we can access a network of recovering judges located throughout the United States to find a judge best suited to your needs.


Interested in Becoming a Volunteer?

If you have a sincere desire to help a fellow judge who is going through a tough time or who may be struggling with a substance use disorder, anxiety, depression or other mood disorder, or other similar illnesses, you should consider becoming a JCJ volunteer.

First, watch the JCJ Volunteer Training Video and learn about what a volunteer does.

Next, please review the Executive Summary – Volunteer Manual and JCJ Training Slides.

Then, contact us to discuss how you can become a volunteer:

Laurie J. Besden, Esq., Executive Director
LCL Administrative Office: 1-800-335-2572, ext. 101

Judges and Lawyers Recovery Meetings

These meetings are open only to judges and lawyers in recovery – they are not open to the public. Although the meetings are based upon the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, they welcome any judge or lawyer who is struggling with an illness that LCL seeks to address. Some meetings are held weekly, others held bi-weekly or monthly. To protect the anonymity of those attending these meetings, we require that you contact us. We will answer any questions and verify that the meeting will be a good fit for you. We will then provide you with the meeting location, day and time, and a contact person (a recovering judge or lawyer).

  • Camp Hill (Cumberland)
  • Wernersville (Berks)
  • Drexel Hill (Delaware)
  • Erie (Erie)
  • Bethlehem (Northampton/Lehigh)
  • Lancaster (Lancaster)
  • Norristown (Montgomery)
  • Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
  • Pittsburgh (Allegheny)
  • Scranton (Lackawanna)
  • State College (Centre)
  • York (York)

JCJ Confidential Helpline

(717) 541-0060


National Judges Assistance Helpline


The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Judicial Assistance Initiative has established a list of judges throughout North America who are willing to share their recovery experiences with their peers on the bench. The Confidential Helpline is answered during normal business hours by the staff of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program in Austin, Texas. (You may leave a confidential voice mail message after business hours which will be retrieved and your call returned on the next business day.) This is a peer-to-peer program; you will be matched to and put in touch with another judge. This service is in addition to those services provided by Judges Concerned for Judges of Pennsylvania.