Issue Position: Crime and Safety: Children's Safety
The best national estimates for the number of missing children are from incidence studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. The second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART 2) was released in October of 2002. According to NISMART 2 data estimates, there were 203,900 children abducted by family members, 58,200 children abducted by nonfamily members and 1,682,900 runaway/thrownaway episodes in 1999.
As a member of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, I have joined with a number of my colleagues in becoming an original cosponsor of the National AMBER Alert Network Act, H.R. 412 in the 108th Congress. The bill would have improved the operation of the AMBER Alert communications network in order to facilitate the recovery of abducted children and would have provided enhanced notification on highways of alerts and information on such children. On April 30, 2005, President Bush signed the PROTECT Act (P. L. 108-21) into law to enhance AMBER Alert plans nationwide and strengthens law enforcement and federal criminal code provisions related to missing and exploited children.
But, parents and young people are on the frontlines of this battle and I have provided a number of resources to help them be prepared and protect their kids.