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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 161411 Find in a Library
Title: Sworn to Protect: Making the Case -- Conducting Sensitive Child Abuse Investigations
Corporate Author: University of Southern Maine
National Child Welfare Resource Ctr for Organizational Improvement
Edmund S. Muskie Insti
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 0
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
University of Southern Maine
Portland, ME 04112
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This videotape discusses the sensitive nature of child abuse investigations and covers police procedures that should be followed in conducting such investigations.
Abstract: Child abuse is considered to be the most difficult type of criminal investigation, particularly due to the vulnerability of child victims. Police officers should conduct child abuse investigations from a prosecutorial perspective and should be knowledgeable of the stages in prosecution (preliminary hearing, arraignment, trial, and sentencing). In addition, police officers should be sensitive to the child's age and family dynamics and should strive to protect children against further abuse and neglect. Police officers should also be aware of the stages in juvenile court proceedings (detention, adjudication, disposition, review, and termination hearings) and should realize the successful prosecution of a child abuse case depends on police collaboration with other relevant individuals and organizations. In preparing a child abuse case for court, police officers should collect and document evidence at the crime scene, prepare a list of evidence, know the prosecutor, and understand State child abuse laws. The videotape covers the credibility of child witnesses, the importance of witness preparation, the trauma experienced by abused children, the stress children experience when testifying in court, and the need for police officers to be aware of questions they may be asked in court.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse investigations; Child victims; Children in the courtroom; Competency to testify; Court procedures; Crime reporting by children; Crime Scene Investigation; Crimes against children; Criminal investigation; Evidence collection; Juvenile victims; Juvenile witnesses; Prosecution; Witness credibility
Note: 24:30 minutes. Part six of a six-part series on the Sensitive Investigation of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
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