Cleveland: Judge Shannon M. Gallagher has been appointed to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (MHDD) Docket. Judge Gallagher was appointed to the docket by Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo.
Judge Gallagher will replace Judge Michael P. Donnelly, who announced he will step down from the docket at the end of this year. For the next four months, Judge Gallagher will work closely with Judge Donnelly as the docket transfers from his courtroom to hers. Judge Donnelly has been on the MHDD docket since 2010.
“It’s been a privilege to serve on this docket with so many dedicated colleagues,” says Judge Donnelly. “By treating underlying mental health issues, we truly get to help people by keeping the mentally ill out of the prison system while still protecting the public.”
“I am thrilled by this appointment,” says Judge Gallagher. “I became a Judge because I saw it as a chance to serve the community, and this opportunity will allow me to work one-on-one with defendants who’ve been referred to the MHDD docket.”
Judge Gallagher joined the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bench in 2015. She is a graduate of Berea High School and Miami University of Ohio, and joined the bar in 2004 after attending the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
The MHDD docket was established in 2003 as a response to the increasing number of defendants with serious mental illnesses entering the criminal justice system. The MHDD Court is funded by the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, and supported by local resources through the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD).
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and the MHDD judges are committed to managing challenging defendants by effectively utilizing scarce resources that can improve long term success in treatment and reduce recidivism. Further, the Court is committed to identifying additional resources that will continue to enhance the docket’s mission.
The MHDD docket also includes Chairperson Judge Hollie L. Gallagher, Judge Deena R. Calabrese, Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams, and Judge Robert C. McClelland.