Nicole L. Waters, a Principal Court Research Consultant, has been with the Research Division of the National Center for State Courts, Williamsburg, VA since 2000. Current work at the Center includes investigating evidence-based research on problem-solving courts. In addition to evaluating several local mental health courts across the country, Dr. Waters has researched mental health courts both statewide and nationally. This work includes a statewide evaluation of mental health courts (MHCs) in Arizona, development of statewide standards for MHCs, development of national performance measures for MHCs, and the development of communication models to understand structures in MHCs between treatment providers and the courts. Dr. Waters has also conducted evaluations of drug courts and developed performance measures and benchmarks to enhance performance management systems for problem-solving courts. She has gained a broader understanding of problem-solving courts after directing a census of problem-solving courts nationwide.
Dr. Waters has taught courses in research and evaluation methods designed for court administrators, court managers, and judges and serves on the advisory board of NCSC’s educational division, the Institute for Court Management. She has co-sponsored numerous educational seminars for judges on topics related to science and the courts. At the University of Delaware, she received a Ph.D. in sociology with a specialization in law and society and research methodology/statistics. She received an M.A. in general experimental psychology from California State University in Fresno and her B.A. in psychology and statistics from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.