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Disappointed in Jessica Cooper

Why are Mental Health & Sobriety Courts such a sensitive topic for Jessica Cooper?

As a mental health advocate, I expect the Oakland County Prosector to take mental health and substance abuse issues more seriously. In 2009, she cut funding to the Sobriety Courts and does not have a Mental Health Court. With a large percentage of inmates living with a mental illness and substance abuse issues, it would only be logical to conclude that at least a considerable portion were symptomatic at the time of breaking the law. Why not get them help? Why is this such a sensitive subject for Jessica Cooper? 

I had every intention of voting for Jessica Cooper until I attempted to discuss this issue on Cooper's Facebook Page. I was respectful stating that I wish her well in the election, but I would like her to consider starting a mental health court in Oakland County. I also stated I was disappointed when she cut funding to the Sobriety Court. This was somehow considered worthy of censoring, and my comment was deleted. Thinking it was a mistake, I posted it again. Then, I was banned from posting. 

So let me get this straight. If you are symptomatic and break the law in a nonviolent way...then you go to jail without having the opportunity to go through a mental health court. If you have an expensive lawyer, you might get diverted with a treatment option. Most of the time, the offenders end up in jail or prison which is costly to the county and state. 

OK...this is what gets me the most. If you are asymptomatic and follow the law but have an opinion that goes against Jessica Cooper, even though you support her...your ideas are discredited and deleted. 

From my experience, I can only concude that Jessica Cooper does not care about the mental health of Oakland County residents....and offenders who break the law in Oakland County. By treating people with mental health issues appropriately it will not only save the county dollars, but it might actually help people get on a path of recovery. We pay for these offenders one way or another...so why not make it as humane as possible. 

I never though in a million years that I would ever vote for Mike Bishop for anything. I am perfectly fine with disagreeing with candidates on some issues while still voting for them. I cannot accept a candidate who will not discuss the important issues respectfully. 

Jessica Cooper needs to increase her awareness and get real on the role mental health issues play in our courts. Our County deserves a better prosecutor. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kristen Famiano October 23, 2012 at 07:59 PM
My first blog. I saw at least 2 typos...and 4 improvements I need to make. Ugh! I have to start somewhere:-)
Joshua Raymond October 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Kristen, good job making your voice heard blogging! And you are very right, it is important that we have elected officials who are willing to listen to us and respect our opinions.
Kristen Famiano October 23, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Thank you, Joshua:-)
JustSomeComputerGuy October 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Here's another recent article that is relevant: http://domemagazine.com/lessenberry/jl021012
Sue October 24, 2012 at 06:59 AM
Michigan NAMI Walk T-shirt Credit Kristen Famiano?
Dee Kay October 24, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Well written article Kristen. You are right to question Cooper and her antics. She has shown herself to be a petty, vindictive, and arrogant official who disregards the laws she doesn't agree with. Sadly, Bishop is almost an exact clone of Cooper so the citizens lose regardless of which one gets the office. You are left with an arrogant and petty democratic candidate versus an arrogant and petty republican candidate. Real nice to see that both parties care so little what the citizens think or deserve, only their own ideology and terrible candidates. Time for the parties to either start running some better candidates, or fade into a much needed obscurity. People need to disregard party when voting and vote for the best candidate. When you have two poor choices, it is time to vote none of the above. Maybe the parties will finally get the idea that the citizens deserve a better candidate, not just a partisan mouthpiece.
JR October 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Actually, Mike Bishop is campaigning, in part, on restoring relationships with community- based resources like Sobriety Court.
Kristen Famiano October 24, 2012 at 12:46 PM
That is great to hear! I hate to admit it, but Governor Snyder has also given money to Saginaw County for a Mental Health court. I am surprised that this is more supported by Republicans...and I am disheartened that the party with which I am affiliated does not see this as an important issue. I won't be voting straight ticket in this election.
Kristen Famiano October 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Sue....The Credit goes to who uploaded the photo not the shirt...To be absolutely clear for people out there...the design of the shirt was created by Sue Santel-Fenner for the Judd's Stigma Buster NAMI Metro Team at the NAMI Michigan Walk.
Dan Welch October 24, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Let's put Bishop in and get rid of McMillin. He is stinking this town up.
atoz October 24, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Voting straight party ticket is a bad choice! You should always look at the candidate and their stance/beliefs. The days of voting straight party should be long gone. That mentality of votin straight is why we are in such a mess. That is also why Jessica Cooper is able to act the way she does and get away with it. I would bet that she also receives some sort of financial gain by throwing nonviolent criminals in jail. It is time to clean house; Jessica Cooper and L Brooks need to go! When you no longer serve the people and instead serve your own interests you deserve to lose your position. Take the Brooksie Way for example of a politician serving their own ego and not caring what the citizens want. The citizens don't want their roads closed and they don't want to be blockaded into their subdivisions with no way out every year. Closing roads and blockading subdivisions is unacceptable. The marathon can be setup on the grounds of Oakland University or rerouted in some other way, yet L Brooks is too pompous to listen to the citizens.
c daldin October 24, 2012 at 02:32 PM
This is an excellent article, it brought up some very important concerns with Ms. Cooper. I am very disappointed in hearing we have cut the Sobriety court. I am also 100% in favor of a mental health court. Until mental health issues are seriously addressed we are doing our community a huge disservice.
Susan Harrie October 24, 2012 at 03:54 PM
I had the same issue with Tim Mcmillen. He would not give me an appointment to discuss the issue.
Adam Blinko October 24, 2012 at 04:57 PM
No way to vote a straight ticket in this election. Bob Gosselin is spilling into Rochester area for Oakland County Commissioner. He has been convicted of solicitation of a prostitute and indecent exposure and yet he is a Social Conservative. Tom McMillin needs to move to Oklahoma. Jessica Cooper is pitiful.
Sue October 24, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I understand that, I just wanted NAMI Metro to be mentioned, not NAMI Michigan.
Kent W October 24, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I became interested in this election when I found out that Mr. Bishop took money from Matty Moroun to delay a vote on the bridge (if he did that, what would he do as prosecutor?), so I checked into the sobriety/mental health court issue. Cooper did not have anything to do with its funding, she only stopped sending a prosecutor to the meetings because of cutbacks in her own office’s budget (I hear that she lost ten percent of her prosecutors through county imposed budget cuts). These courts are still there, and are still functioning to provide treatment to those with substance abuse or mental illness problems. I would suggest that instead of bashing a particular candidate, that efforts such as these be refocused towards Lansing, to ensure that the budgeting for these important services remain available in the future.
Kristen Famiano October 24, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I agree that Cooper may have been limited due to her budget, but she ultimately decided to stop funding from her office to the Sobriety Courts. Other counties have taken part in a grant opportunity for mental health courts. Why not Oakland County? Sobriety Courts are NOT the same as mental health courts. Both may be run in a similar manner and there could be overlap due to the comorbidity of the illnesses. If done right, it would free up dollars to various budgets in the judicial system. Again...we DO NOT have a mental health court. My biggest complaint is the fact that there was no discussion on this. My supportive yet critical view at the time was respectful. Why ban me from posting? I get budget cuts better than most. I was looking for an explanation from her people. I even tried emailing her after this. I got nothing. Why is Snyder looking at this as a good option but NOT my county prosecutor? I just want a thoughtful answer.
Kristen Famiano October 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Gotcha! I was happy to make the changes;-)
Kristen Famiano October 24, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Excellent article, JustSomeComputerGuy! Thank You
David Scott October 26, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Having experienced Cooper as a public safety professional I have been so desensitized knowing that she has no social grace, she treats everyone as like an abuser if you tell you're in trouble, she is not a judge anymore but demands her staff address her as Judge. Rings of my history lesson when people fled Europe. Mike Bishop on the other hand is educated, a parent, compassionate, and approachable. Mike has life experience, Jessica is a brat like only child who would delete this to avoid scrutiny and she sits far higher in life precluding her from acknowledging any of us let alone discussing something so important as mental health issues.
Kristen Famiano October 26, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Thank you for your comment, David. I did not like Bishop as my state Senator...and never thought I could let go of that to ever vote for him. I always gave him credit for supporting downtown Rochester and would often see him walking with his kids. I just read his answers in the Rochester Post...and loved how he wants to work with outside agencies like Haven. He has officially won me over. I am glad I will be voting for him for the right reasons and not just because Cooper disappointed me. He is going to be the only Republican I will be voting for this time. Anyone who knows me well knows that this is huge for me. I am glad I have an open mind.

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