Today Congresswoman Laura Richardson announces that the California Board of State and Community Corrections has been awarded a $92,000 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. This grant will provide funding for local law enforcement agencies to purchase recording equipment, enabling them to record custodial interrogations. In addition, each agency will be required to train officers in the proper use of the equipment.
The benefits of videotaping include better preparation work by detectives; avoidance of distractions at the interrogation; easy monitoring of interrogations by supervisors; use of tapings during trainings; and fewer allegations by defense attorneys of coercion, intimidation or misconduct by police.
"Video recording of custodial interrogations helps local law enforcement agencies improve investigations and reduce the risk of false confessions and wrongful convictions," said Congresswoman Laura Richardson, adding, "This important funding will allow the California Board of State and Community Corrections to continue making great strides in ensuring systemic accuracy and fairness to the state and accused. I strongly encourage law enforcement agencies across the country to also adopt this practice, which is why I introduced the Custodial Interrogation Recording Act."
The Custodial Interrogation Recording Act of 2012 establishes a grant program to lessen the cost disincentive associated with recorded custodial interrogations. Specifically, the grants can be used to purchase videotaping equipment, provide training in the use of videotaping equipment, develop and maintain systems to preserve the recordings, and conduct program evaluation studies. This legislation was endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police.
"As a member of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, I will continue to advocate for the American heroes in law enforcement, who risk their lives for the safety of the community. I offer my sincere congratulations to the Board of State and Community Corrections," said Congresswoman Richardson.