National Forensic Interviewers Week is coming! Join us July 8-12 →

One Lost DVD is One Too Many

The safety of Guardify brings peace of mind.

Tonya Murray, the director at the Uintah/Daggett County Children’s Justice Center (a Children’s Advocacy Center, or CAC) says that using digital evidence management software Guardify gives her peace of mind – generally something she didn’t have with their old process.  

The CAC used DVDs to store child forensic interviews, therefore making it difficult to track the evidence. Anytime a child’s testimony is recorded by a forensic interviewer at a CAC, both law enforcement and CPS are also present in an observation room. Afterward, each investigative agency receives a copy of the DVD. Because the CAC is not the custodian of record,  the Children’s Justice Center didn’t always know what happened to the recordings or how they were archived. 

Human errors can happen.

While it’s not common to lose a DVD, Tonya says, “The fact that it’s happened once is too much.” For example, there was a time when some DVDs were returned to them after being found in a snowbank on the side of the road. The agency doesn’t know how they were neither lost nor returned to them. Another time, a school called the CAC to report they had several DVDs that had been left in a folder for years. “To my knowledge, nobody ever watched those interviews, but what if they had fallen out in a common area and a student had found them? Human error can potentially revictimize kids,” Tonya says.

Thankfully, they now Guardify their interviews, consequently, they do not have the chance of being seen years from now. Tonya says, “I love that Guardify has an expiration date for sharing. Nobody has to go back and collect physical copies because we know access is automatically withdrawn on a certain date. The user is notified and if they need to extend access, they can request it.”

Transition to digital evidence management software.

Additionally, Tonya also says that’s it been easy for their agency to learn to use digital evidence management software, “Guardify is very user-friendly. It’s easy to share and save files, and every time you turn around they’ve made another update to make it easier to use. You don’t even need an IT person to set it up. We’re social workers, not IT people and Guardify is very simple for us to implement.” Therefore, she encourages CACs to consider using Guardify saying, “Don’t let the idea of technology—even if it’s something you don’t quite understand—get in the way.”

Unquestionably thrilled that they won’t have to ever go back to using DVDs, Tonya says, “The time and money it took to transition is nothing in comparison to being assured the child has privacy. If I can fund it forever, I will. That’s how much we love it.”

Related Content