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Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1983: Report of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on S. 2014

NCJ Number
Date Published
70 pages
Following the presentation of the text of the Federal Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1983, this report presents the Act's purpose, the history of the legislation, and other information pertinent to understanding the content and impact of this legislation (S. 2014).
The Committee on the Judiciary, to which was referred the bill (S. 2014) to amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 to provide for assistance in locating missing children, recommends that the bill as amended be passed. A missing child falls within the primary jurisdiction of local law enforcement; however, the problem cannot be adequately addressed by purely local or even State efforts, since many missing children are removed from their homes to distant areas, frequently crossing State lines. Federal coordination and leadership are required. The Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1983 would provide this leadership by authorizing the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice to make grants and enter into contracts to assist State, local, and individual entities working to locate and return missing children. First, the Act establishes and maintains a national toll-free telephone line for the reporting of information on the location of missing children. Second, S. 2014 creates a national resource center and clearinghouse to provide technical assistance to State and local governments, law enforcement agencies, and individuals in locating and recovering missing children. The purposes of this center are to coordinate public and private searches for children, as well as to make information available nationally regarding missing children's programs, services, and legislation. Finally, the Act would authorize the Administrator to fund other programs designed to prevent child abductions. This report details the amendments to S. 2014, provides a section-by-section analysis of the legislation, and issues a regulatory impact statement. Other topics discussed are the vote of the Judiciary Committee on the Act, the Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost to implement the Act, the views of various agencies on the Act, and changes in existing law that would result if the Act passes.