Every day in the Fourth Judicial District Courts (serving El Paso and Teller counties), hundreds of people attend court proceedings as victims, witnesses, defendants, litigants or jurors. On a typical day, dozens of children accompany adults to court. From its inaccessible water fountains, lack of waiting areas and cavernous courtrooms, to the public examinations of society’s most horrifying crimes—murders, rapes, and assaults—the courthouse is not a child-friendly environment.
Inside courtrooms, children witness sensitive, graphic, or frightening testimony and behavior. The events and dialogue children may see and hear in this environment can cause them psychological harm and change the way they see their family members and authority figures forever.
Moreover, a child’s presence places additional burdens on our judicial system’s operation. Not only can children disrupt proceedings by distracting judges and court personnel, but their presence can also make it difficult for their caregivers to concentrate on the issues that brought them to court in the first place. Court Care provides free, safe child care for anyone with court-related business in the Pikes Peak region.