LANSING — State Representative Robert L. Kosowski (D-Westland) had another bill passed by the House of Representatives today. House Bill 5271 is part of a three-bill package dealing with video recordings of children when talking to Department of Human Services (DHS) officials or law enforcement officers in abuse or neglect cases.
“Although there is a protocol for forensic interviews in child abuse cases, the practice is inconsistent. Not all interviews are recorded, which could compromise the process,” Kosowski said. “My colleagues and I want to make sure that the process is fair and accurate for everyone involved. We can’t be too careful when dealing with child welfare cases.”
Kosowski joined two fellow members in sponsoring the bills. HB 5270 requires officials to videotape interviews, in their entirety, with children in abuse and neglect cases. HB 5271 allows prosecutors to provide defense lawyers access to video recorded interviews before a court hearing dealing with the case. HB 5272 applies the same standard to DHS hearings and requires courts to retain video recordings for one year after the resolution of the case.