Prosecutor Candidates Questioned About Mental Health Cases
By: Mike Stiles - Thursday, June 6, 2024

(left to right) Debra Davis, David Marvin and John McDonough (photo courtesy of Mike Stiles/Swick Broadcasting)

(CENTREVILLE) – Cases involving mental health and substances abuse was one of the questions asked to the candidates for St. Joseph County Prosecutor.

Incumbent Prosecutor David Marvin, former Assistant Prosecutor Debra Davis and former Prosecutor John McDonough participated in a political forum Tuesday on the Grand Concourse at Glen Oaks Community College. The event was put on by the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce and the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce.

One of the questions to the three was, What is your approach to cases that involve mental health issues or substance abuse? McDonough was the first to answer, and said that it should be handled on a case by case basis. He says the justice system has not been good when it comes to helping people with mental health issues and it needs to change. McDonough says he is happy to have been a part of creating the drug treatment court, the sobriety court and the swift and sure program.

Davis was next to give her answer, saying the many times mental health and substance abuse cases co-occur. She says there are services to address these matters in the county, but they are not adequate. Davis says there should be a push for more substance abuse counselors, but also law enforcement people to aren't afraid to say enough is enough for repeat offenders.

Martin says the justice system has failed and is failing those with mental health issues. Many times individuals with mental health matters end up in jail, which most of the time is not where they belong.

The audience also had the chance to hear from the candidates running for State Representative for the 36th District seat in the Michigan House, and the candidates for St. Joseph County Probate Court Judge.

If you missed the forum, you can watch it again on the Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce or the Three Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook pages.


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