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Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney, 4-year term

Clinton County Prosecuting Attorney, 4-year term, vote for 1

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    Charles D. Sherman
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What are your top three priorities for your office if elected?

What is the most critical issue facing your office?

What will you do in your first month in office?

What specific actions, if any, can the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and its assistant prosecutors take in addressing the growing problems of heroin and illegal prescription painkiller use?

What changes, if any, should be made to the juvenile justice system?

How should court fines and costs be imposed when a significant portion of defendants are considered indigent?

Are you current in all tax, alimony and child support obligations? If not, please explain.

Have you been disciplined by the state Attorney Discipline Board? If so, when and what for?

Hometown Kalamazoo
Education Mattawan High School 1973 Kalamazoo College BA 1977 Cooley Law School 1981
Family Three grown children four grandchildren
Professional Experience 35 years in Clinton County Prosecutor's Office Last 28 Years as elected Prosecutor
Political Experience 28 years elected Prosecutor Active in local County Republican Party for last 35 years Executive Committee Republican Party 28 years.
Dealing with the State's reduction in prison capacity has forced Counties to handle more and more serious felons in local jails and on probation. We have effectively dealt with many of these through newly developed sobriety Courts and a specialized Swift and Sure Sanctions Court.These more intensive forms of probation are expensive and we have been able to secure grant funding for much of the added expense. I have been very active in our association to address these issues at the State level to make sure prison sanctions remain available for violent offenders. Providing services and help to victims.
Having to do more with less. State prison capacity has been reduced from 54,000 beds 8 years ago to 42,000 today. Crime hasn't gone down by that ratio so we have to deal with those felons at the county level. As mentioned above, we have had success in putting some of these offenders on highly intensive forms of probation that has reduced recidivism and thus insured public safety. If the State continues to cut prison capacity, we run the danger of having highly dangerous felons without adequate facilities to place them. Some offenders just need to be separated from society for the protection of all of us.
Since I have been here 35 years and the office has functioned effectively and efficiently and always stayed within our budget, I wouldn't make any dramatic changes.
Our new swift and Sure Sanctions Court has had success in treating severely addicted offenders. The concept of the court is that there must be immediate consequences for any violations of the requirements of the program. If the sanction is immediate it has greater impact. At the State level I have been very active to try to get legislative changes such as more control over the number of powerful prescription drugs issued by physicians. We have been putting much more resources into treatment of drug offenders and although it is not always successful, we have seen positive results.
We simply need more resources to deal with juvenile offenders. In the old days we dealt with juveniles who got caught shoplifting. Now we have Juveniles who commit serious assaultive offenses. We have statutory authority to charge the worst offenders as adults and although many people oppose that, these most violent offenders need to be locked up for the protection of society. Of course that is a small minority of juvenile offenders, so we need more treatment options for the rest. Truancy is the single biggest indicator of future criminal behavior. We have begun a truancy program that has been effective in reducing rates of truancy.
I have been appointed to serve on the State Task Force to explore alternative ways to fund the court system. It is a very difficult issue because most people believe convicted criminals should bear the costs. On the other hand people should not be put in jail because they are poor. Our Judges walk this fine line every day. Counties are stuck paying for funding a system that really is a State system. The State needs to step up and contribute more.
Yes. I have been married for 39 years.
No.

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