Protecting the innocence and safety of every child is a concern for communities both big and small. Our shared values help us thrive, and it’s crucial that we stand up against the worst sorts of crimes and traumas inflicted on children. Paying close attention to how we manage child testimonies inside and outside of the courtroom can help ensure that our justice system operates in the best interests of children.
How Do Child Testimonies Work?
The United States Department of Justice acknowledges that the legal process can introduce its own set of trauma for children. In some cases, they may be reluctant to speak freely for fear of being harmed or having their family harmed. In other situations, the testimony itself can become a way for children to re-victimize themselves and re-live their trauma. Fortunately, there are other ways for the court to review a child’s testimony. We don’t always need to rely on a court appearance to have a child’s story heard.
Working with audio video interview evidence helps honor the rights and privacy of children. Montana was the first state to accept a child’s interview recording as court-admissible evidence in 1977. The preference for interview recording for children was further endorsed by the American Bar Association in 1982. With today’s technology, there’s truly no excuse for not recording a child’s testimony. Interview recording equipment allows child advocates and law enforcement professionals to compassionately and responsibly collect key evidence outside of the courtroom. We can’t ignore the benefits that video provides for these cases.
Benefits of Recorded Interview Evidence
The primary reason for recording child testimonies is to eliminate the need to repeat the story again and again. Securing the evidence in a single interview helps the child avoid additional stress. Moreover, it gives all parties a concrete reference point. The child’s narrative can change for unknown reasons when they’re asked to speak in court. By saving their testimony early on, the child’s role in the trial can be kept to a minimum—but their evidence will be loud and clear.
Local child advocacy groups are incredibly helpful for gathering underage testimonies because these centers do everything they can to keep the process simple and safe. Recording interview evidence in these facilities is useful because they are specifically designed with children in mind. It can be so much more comfortable for a child to talk with a professional one-on-one instead of addressing a courtroom. Plus, the audio video recording equipment can be conveniently placed so as not to distract the child. A discrete camera setup helps guard the integrity of the testimony so the court can make an appropriate ruling.
Promoting Safety with a Secure System
A child testimony often becomes the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case. But you need to make sure that the information is easy to understand and analyze with accurate audio and HD video. At iRecord, we’re proud to support the efforts of child advocacy groups and law enforcement as they work to get to the truth. Our interview recording solutions can give you a new option for processing evidence on the most sensitive cases.
We even have ways to help with mobile child advocacy centers, so you can collect the evidence you need in the child’s own community. These custom-built units come equipped with a child-friendly, iRecord interview room. This gives agencies all the tools they need to save and share court-admissible evidence in a non-threatening environment.
Whether you need user-friendly interview recording equipment for your existing space, or you’re ready to expand your offerings with a mobile solution, our team is here to help. The better we can defend and serve children, the better our world will be for generations to come. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.