Mitchel’s special assignment to comfort children in a very stressful courtroom
The latest addition to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office is not a high paid lawyer but a yellow Lab named Mitchel who’s primary duty will be to help children feel more at ease when they have to be present in a stressful environment like the courtroom.
A new bill that was signed into law in Illinois will allow for a canine therapy assistant to be present in the courtroom. The dog is to be present to comfort crime victims, especially for children who suffer from child abuse or exploitation, or for someone who is developmentally disabled. The dog is there to lessen the stress and comfort individuals, as trials and testifying on the stand can be very traumatic, according to Life With Dogs.
“When these children come in to be interviewed, it can be incredibly stressful. A lot of thought and care goes into making that process as comfortable as possible for our victims. The presence of a highly-trained dog is one tool that will undoubtedly help some children through this process.”
Mitchel the yellow Labrador retriever is a member of the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office. He turns heads wherever he goes and draws many people to pet him. But that’s the point, as he is there to make the courtroom experience less stressful. The two-year-old dog’s primary job is to provide solace to children at the Lake County Children’s Advocacy Center. Last year, the Children’s Advocacy Center, operated by the state’s attorney’s office, handled 681 local child abuse cases. Child victims of sexual and physical abuse are interviewed and prepared for possible trial appearances at the Center, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Originating Content: Inquisitr
Now in another courtroom and in a less formal position, but with the same intention to help people to feel a bit more comfortable there’s Mickey quietly contributing his “bit” to the legal system.
See Mickey’s story in the next video: