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LAC DU FLAMBEAU - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services has awarded the Lac du Flambeau Indian Child Welfare a $8,960 grant to be used to help fund an upgrade of equipment in the child forensic interview room. The award is made possible through a grant from the Children's Justice Act (CJA) program.
The installation of digital video recording equipment will improve the quality of the recordings and allow better communication with surrounding jurisdictions that are already using digital technology. Currently, all interviews are conducted in Eagle River almost 50 miles away.
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 Lac du Flambeau/Vilas County Multidisciplinary Team includes representatives from area law enforcement agencies, Lac du Flambeau and Vilas county prosecutors, Vilas county Department of Social Services and Lac du Flambeau Indian Child Welfare, physical and mental health services and other county-based service providers.