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ASHLAND - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services has awarded the Ashland County Multidisciplinary Team a $10,043.82 grant to be used to upgrade the video recording equipment in the child forensic interview room. The award is made possible through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) program.
The upgrade to digital quality will significantly improve the sound quality of the interview thus allowing more of the interviews to be played back in court. The new interview room is located in the Sheriff's Office and includes a more private waiting area for children and families.
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.
BJA 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 Ashland County Multidisciplinary Team includes representatives from area law enforcement agencies, Bad River Tribal agencies, Ashland County District Attorney, and the Department of Health and Human Services.