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Grant Money to Help Fund a Video Recording Interview Room For Use in Child Forensic Interviews
WISCONSIN RAPIDS - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services has awarded the Wood County Multidisciplinary Team a $13,365 grant to enhance their capability to video record child forensic interviews. The award is made possible through a grant from the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) with supplemental funding through the Wisconsin Children's Justice Act (CJA) program.
The award will fund a new video recording interview room in the Wood County Courthouse that is appropriate for child victims of abuse and neglect. This central location will make the room more accessible to the Sheriff's Office and the Department of Social Services.
Bureau of Justice Assistance grants support law enforcement, victim services, treatment, corrections, the courts and technology & prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation's criminal justice system.
The Wisconsin Children's Justice Act grant program is committed to improving the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect. The program encourages county childcare professionals to work together to streamline the investigative process so that children who are victims of a crime are not further traumatized. Often, this is done by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement and social service agencies who work together from the start of an investigation.
CJA grant funds can also be used to train law enforcement officers and social workers on how to conduct forensic interviews of children. Forensic interviews provide a number of advantages. They allow for the child to be interviewed once rather than repeatedly by numerous agencies. The interviews are taped and can be used in preliminary court proceedings, rather than having to have the child testify in a courtroom on multiple occasions.
"Working together streamlines the investigative process and reduces secondary trauma to child victims," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "I am pleased the Wisconsin Department of Justice can support these important programs that protect child victims."
The Wood County Multidisciplinary Team includes representatives from the Wood County Sheriff's Office as well as other area law enforcement agencies, the Wood County District Attorney's Office, the Department of Human Service and the Marshfield Clinic Child Advocacy Center.