Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Thursday, November 29, 2001


Page 3


Delgadillo to Announce Formation of Child Abuse Prosecution Team


By a MetNews Staff Writer


City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo is expected to announce today the formation of a new unit within his office devoted entirely to prosecuting misdemeanor child abuse cases.

The formation of the unit is part of a countywide collaborative effort between government and law enforcement officials to crack down on child abuse and neglect before they become more serious crimes.

“This unit will allow my office to become a full partner in the war against abuse and neglect of Los Angeles’ children,” Delgadillo said in a statement. “Early prosecution of these crimes can help break the cycle of violence before it reaches the felony level and provide the necessary incentive to get abusive parents the counseling they need.”

Delgadillo’s office is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanor child abuse offenses in the city of Los Angeles, but says it currently only receives information on just five percent of abuse and neglect cases.

Under a Nov. 27 motion made by Supervisor Michael Antonovich, the Board of Supervisors asked that the City Attorney’s Office be kept better informed about the abuse that is occurring.

Under the board’s direction, the Department of Child and Family Services will now report all child abuse incidents that occur within Los Angeles city limits to the City Attorney’s Office with the hopes that the cross-reporting will increase the number of misdemeanor child abuse offenses that are prosecuted. Under the new requirements, the City Attorney’s Office expects to receive between 100 and 125 cross-reports a day.

In addition to bring criminal charges in the cases, the City Attorney’s Office also has the ability to mandate counseling, parenting classes, and substance abuse programs.

Verizon Wireless has provided a $40,000 startup grant to the new unit for technology and equipment costs. Some of the grant money will be used to buy computers and software as well as digital cameras for the Los Angeles Police Department to document children’s injuries for evidence purposes.

The City Attorney’s Office is still waiting for grant funding to pay for increased staff.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company