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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157247 Find in a Library
Title: Child Victim Witness Manual
Journal: CJER Journal  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter/Spring 1992)  Pages:1-81
Corporate Author: California Ctr for Judicial Education and Research
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 81
Sponsoring Agency: California Ctr for Judicial Education and Research
Emeryville, CA 94608
Type: Policy/Procedure Handbook/Manual
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This manual is a resource for judicial officers in the management of courtroom procedures that involve child victims/witnesses, particularly children alleged to have been sexually abused.
Abstract: One purpose of this manual is to present alternative solutions to the challenges in managing cases that involve child witnesses, including the evaluation of the testimony of children in criminal, juvenile, and family court cases. A second goal of the manual is to provide pertinent principles of child development for judicial consideration and application. The manual makes clear to judges that a child witness is not just a miniature version of an adult witness. Young children think, relate, and communicate in a qualitatively different manner than adults. They have vulnerabilities, needs, and limitations not found among adult witnesses. The management of child witnesses and the evaluation of evidence from children requires a knowledge of child development and sensitivity to their unique status. The text of this manual is divided into two sections. The first section provides a conceptual framework for understanding children's testimony, including a discussion of principles of child development and the pressures children may experience when they become witnesses. The second section focuses on various aspects of cases that involve child witnesses, including setting ground rules for attorneys, determining witness competency, managing the questioning of children, and using experts. These aspects are discussed in the context of cases that involve sexual abuse allegations, including criminal prosecutions, juvenile dependency cases, and family law cases. 110 references, tables of statutes and rules and cases, and appended summary of developmental skills and a procedural guide for the use of closed circuit television
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Case management; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Children in the courtroom; Closed circuit television (CCTV); Court procedures; Judges; Testimony
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