Carrie Shelton, Chief Prosecutor
SVU vertically prosecutes all cases of rape and aggravated rape with adult victims; child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; elder and vulnerable adult abuse. The SVU also handles cases involving other special victims as directed by District Attorney General Amy Weirich. The SVU was created in late 2010 as an expansion of the successful Child Protection Investigative Team (CPIT).The SVU focuses on the special needs of these child victims and elderly victims, who are among the most vulnerable in the community.
Prosecutors meet daily to review each new child abuse complaint, and assist law enforcement agencies in reviewing evidence in all cases of rape, aggravated rape, elder or vulnerable adult abuse. The unit provides greater service to the victims through vertical prosecution with the goal of moving these cases more quickly through the court system.
In 2011, the SVU announced a new partnership with the Shelby County Drug Court. The program, “Born Addicted” is designed to prosecute mothers who ingest drugs while pregnant. However, instead of sending the mothers directly to prison, the goals are to address the mothers’ drug addiction issues and reunite the newborns with their mothers.