27 Jul Adams County Sheriff Presents Star Award to Glenda Wilson and Children’s Advocacy Center
After two years of careful and tireless investigation by the Adams County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Natchez Children’s Home Services (CAC), eight Adams County perpetrators of crimes against children – statutory rape, sexual battery, lewd behavior – have been brought to justice.
At the Natchez Children’s Home Services CAC, child victims now have a safe, friendly place to tell their stories of trauma and betrayal to trained forensic interviewers. Each interview is recorded while a team of law enforcement, mental health and social service professionals observes and discusses the interview. The team then makes recommendations for appropriate follow-up care for the child.
Not only does the CAC provide forensic interviews, it offers child victims and their families therapeutic services, victim’s assistance, court preparation, and long term follow-up support, all without charge. The CAC maintains multidisciplinary professional teams in each of its five counties of service – Adams, Jefferson, Franklin, Wilkinson, and Claiborne Counties.
ACSO detectives take information from the interview and begin building their cases. “Unlike murder or burglary, there is very little if any physical evidence and these cases are usually not reported until long after the crime occurred,” says ACSO detective Michelle Nations. “Expert forensic interviews are essential . . . and interviewing the perpetrator and extracting a confession is the other side of the coin.”
Adams County Sheriff Chuck Mayfield believes that the ACSO and NCHS-CAC partnership not only stops offenders from committing more crimes against children, but also gives victims courage and hope.
“Children must be taught that they should tell an adult if they are made to feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable by anyone anywhere, and adults need to be taught to listen and to act. They need to report it to us; we have the expertise and the authority to protect them,” said Mayfield. Natchez Children’s Home Services is pleased to maintain its Children’s Advocacy Center services for southwest Mississippi children, continuing almost 200 years of “Saving Lives, One Child at a Time.”