C-12 - Courthouse Facility Dogs: Justice with Compassion   Intermediate

  Mental Health   Law Enforcement   Legal   Domestic Violence   Child Abuse (Physical/Sexual)

Professionally trained courthouse facility dogs are working throughout the country in prosecutor’s offices, child advocacy centers, and sexual assault agencies to assist children while they participate in stressful criminal justice proceedings. As legally neutral companions during the investigation and prosecution of crimes, the dogs have a dramatic impact on the ability of the most vulnerable victims to describe what happened. This workshop is designed to instruct prosecuting attorneys, victim advocates, forensic interviewers, and law enforcement officers about best practices in the selection and use of courthouse facility dogs so that the use of these dogs can reduce re-traumatization for children.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the right kind of dog to use within the justice system to assist children, and where to acquire a dog for your agency.
2. Articulate why the presence of a professionally trained dog allows children to speak more easily.
3. Explain where to find up-to-date resources on the latest appellate decisions and statutes in this area of accommodation for testifying witnesses.
4. Summarize early steps in program development for an agency that wants to incorporate a courthouse facility dog into their services.