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Grant Money to Help Fund Child Forensic Interview Room
HAYWARD - The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Office of Crime Victim Services has awarded the Lac Courte Oreilles Indian Child Welfare a $9,280 grant to be used to purchase video recording equipment for a new child forensic interview room at the Lac Courte Oreilles Police Department. The award is made possible through a grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) program.
Prior to this grant, no video recording of child forensic interviews was happening in Sawyer County. Unrecorded forensic interviews were conducted at schools, in the children's homes or at social service offices. Now, social workers and law enforcement will have access to the new interview room.
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."
This grant funding has also facilitated the revitalization of the Lac Courte Oreille (LCO) Multidisciplinary Team. Members of the Multidisciplinary Team include: LCO law enforcement, AODA/mental health, medical staff, social services, and the domestic abuse/sexual assault investigator. The Multidisciplinary Team meets with Sawyer County Human Services each month to review all reported cases of child sexual abuse or neglect.