Letter to Robert Byrd and Thad Cochran, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Re: Fund Programs To Protect Children From Sexual And Other Violent Crimes
Clinton Pushes Senate Leadership To Fund Programs To Protect Children From Sexual And Other Violent Crimes
Funding For Adam Walsh Act Is Critical To Aid U.S. Marshals Service In Efforts To Apprehend Sex Offenders and Child Predators
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton joined a coalition of her colleagues in calling on the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide funding for the Adam Walsh Act to strengthen the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and aid their programs to apprehend child predators and other dangerous felons. In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member, the lawmakers pointed out that key enforcement provisions in the Adam Walsh Act received no funding in the Fiscal Year 2008, and may go without funding again in Fiscal Year 2009. The senators asked that $50 million be included in the upcoming Supplemental Appropriations bill, and stressed the USMS may be forced to reduce their ranks and discontinue programs, which would severely cut into their ability to protect our children, if the programs go unfunded again.
"It is crucial that U.S. Marshals have the resources and manpower necessary to protect our sons and daughters from sexual predators," said Senator Clinton. "We must do everything possible to help guard our children from those that would do them harm, and funding the Adam Walsh Act is a critical investment in their safety and wellbeing."
The Adam Walsh Act was enacted into law in 2006 to fund programs and strengthen federal laws that protect our children from sexual and other violent crimes, prevent child pornography, and make the Internet safer for our sons and daughters. The failure to fund enforcement programs under the Act has jeopardized a number of programs, including the Regional Fugitive Task Forces, which track down and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives on our streets, and Operation Falcon, a successful national fugitive apprehension initiative, which has resulted in the collective capture of more than 36,500 dangerous fugitive felons.
Senator Clinton has long been a champion of supporting better services for monitoring sex offenders and predators and has supported legislation, such as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, to ensure that law enforcement are aware of the locations of sex offenders at all times. Senator Clinton is also a cosponsor of the Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2007, legislation that establishes programs to combat Internet crimes against children.
A copy of the full text of the letter to Senators Byrd and Cochran is attached-
The Honorable Robert Byrd
Senate Appropriations Committee
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Thad Cochran
Senate Appropriations Committee
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Byrd and Ranking Member Cochran:
We write to you today regarding what will soon be an emergency situation that could have drastic negative effects on the United States Marshals Service's (USMS) ability to apprehend child predators and dangerous fugitive felons.
As you know, no funding was provided in FY08 for the USMS to implement aspects of the Adam Walsh Act, which was authorized at $250 million over five years to strengthen federal laws to protect our children from sexual and other violent crimes, prevent child pornography, and make the Internet safer for our sons and daughters by hiring 250 new Deputy Marshals. Compounding the problem, the FY09 budget request did not include funding for the Adam Walsh Act.
As part of this program, the USMS Regional Fugitive Task Forces track down and apprehend the most dangerous fugitives on our streets. These fugitives are the "worst of the worst," as they prey on those who cannot protect themselves.
The Marshals Service may be the smallest federal law enforcement agency, but it has illustrated tremendous results and gives the federal government the biggest bang for the taxpayers buck by arresting more fugitives than all other federal agencies combined.
Even more frightening is that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) estimates that there are currently more than 100,000 sex offenders who have failed to register as required under the Adam Walsh Act. These predators are working, attending school, and living in proximity to our children, unbeknownst to parents and law enforcement officials.
Given these drastic shortfalls the USMS is currently contemplating layoffs that would result in a reduction in trained agents currently working to apprehend child predators and the complete shutdown of Operation Falcon, a successful national fugitive apprehension initiative, which has resulted in the collective capture of more than 36,500 dangerous fugitive felons.
With that in mind, we are requesting the $50 million be included in the upcoming Supplemental Appropriations bill to allow the USMS to continue these important programs. We know you will agree that protecting our children and our community should be a top priority.
We are willing to help in anyway possible and appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.