To make courtrooms less scary, the Wayne County prosecutor's office in Michigan announced the addition of a four-legged staff member, Jellybean.
Chief of Information and Technology Mark Hindelang adopted the half-black Labrador and half-Golden Retriever in February 2023.
Jellybean underwent six weeks of training to be a part of the Canine Advocacy Program managed by CARE House of Oakland County and was certified in April.
Some of the skills she needs to acquire are not reacting to courtroom distractions, walking on a lead without pulling, and remaining in a sit/stay position.
Jellybean goes to work every day with Hindelang while her handler child advocate Jamie Bucholtz provides her with training twice a week along with work opportunities.
Jellybean has had a calming effect on nervous and vulnerable victims and witnesses who come to court to discuss difficult experiences and facts.
So far she has been present in pretrial victims of all ages including children, sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, and homicide witnesses.
It had been Prosecutor Kym Worthy's long-standing goal to add such an advocate in court and says her services have been "invaluable."