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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99273 Find in a Library
Title: District Attorney as a Mobilizer in a Community Approach to Child Sexual Abuse
Author(s): R E Cramer
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 14
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This monograph describes planning and implementation of a community-based, child-focused, multidisciplinary approach to child sexual abuse in Madison County, Ala.
Abstract: Initial planning involved the establishment of a case review team composed of law enforcement and protective services workers and the development of specialized forms to document case decisions. Parallel with the review team, a task force on child abuse prevention, identification, and treatment was formed that included representatives from medical, education, that included representatives from medical, education, prosecution, protective services, law enforcement, day care, and other community agencies. The task force brought the professional community together, closed gaps in communication, and led to the development of the Children's Advocacy Center. By agreement of the involved agencies, all reported sexual abuse cases are referred to the Center for interviewing (and videotaping when appropriate) by a team composed of protective services and law enforcement personnel. After completion of the interview, the child and family are referred for therapy, which is initiated at the Center. A decision to prosecute is made on the basis of a review by the involved professionals. In cases referred for criminal prosecution, the victim-witness coordinator introduces the child to criminal justice personnel and court procedures and accompanies the child to court sessions. In some cases, based on referrals from the review team, offenders may enter a diversion program in which plea to a misdemeanor sexual offense is permitted after successful completion of therapy. Future plans include involving juvenile delinquents in Center programs.
Index Term(s): Alabama; Child abuse investigations; Child abuse treatment; Interagency cooperation; Juvenile case management; Police services coordination; Victim-witness programs
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