Small room for kids, makes huge difference in court

Posted at 8:01 PM, Feb 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-08 00:33:16-05

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WTVR)--A former storage closet in the Commonwealth Attorney's Office has been transformed into a small room for children.

In turn, that room has helped with convictions in the courtroom.

For the smallest of victims or witnesses, coming to the courthouse to talk with prosecutors can be scary.

And often times, children are intimidated and don't want to talk, sitting in a stark room.

So the Colonial Heights Commonwealth's Attorney's Office decided to try something new.

With the help of donations, they had a small room repainted purple, added a DVD player, movies and a TV, along with coloring books, dolls and a dry erase board.

The difference, they say is obvious.

In fact, one grandmother who had to take her granddaughters to the office to talk about alleged abuse says that once the sisters got into the room, their attitude changed.

They weren't scared anymore and after a while opened up about what had happened.

In just a few months, prosecutors say, the room has helped them get nearly two dozen convictions.

A new courthouse, now under construction, they hope, will have space for a similar room.