Prosecutor’s Mock Trial Training Exercise for DCS Family Case Managers

 

Sellersburg, Ind. — Ivy Tech Community College’s Southern Indiana campus was the site of a mock trial training exercise held Tuesday. Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson administered the training with assistance from Chief Deputy Prosecutor Steven Owen and Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Bansbach.

The purpose of the mock trial was to prepare family case managers employed by the Department of Child Services for the delivery of witness testimony during depositions and in criminal courtroom proceedings.

Case managers are employed through the local Floyd County DCS Office, an agency that serves to protect children who are victims of abuse or neglect and works to strengthen families through services that focus on family support and preservation.

In cases involving criminal abuse or  neglect, DCS family case managers may be called to testify during trial.

During the exercise, case scenarios similar to those DCS employees may encounter in their daily work were distributed for review. Each family case manager was asked to provide testimony based upon their case scenario through direct- and cross-examination. After testifying, case managers were given advice through critiques of their performance.

Before the training session began, Henderson said, “This is meant to make you a better professional. I don’t care if you’ve worked as a case manager for a few months or thirty years, the more experience you have in the courtroom the better.”

Throughout the mock trial scenarios, Henderson stressed preparation, professional credibility, and the importance of case documentation and review.

“You can’t control the facts of a case,” he said, “You can’t control the prosecutor, the judge, the witnesses or victims. What you can control is your level of preparation.”

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