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OJJDP MAKES GRANT AWARD TO IMPROVE INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION OF CHILD ABUSE

Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: JAMES GOODWIN, 202-535-1624
TUESDAY, FEB. 19, 2019 JAMES.GOODWIN@USDOJ.GOV
 
OJJDP MAKES GRANT AWARD TO IMPROVE INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION OF CHILD ABUSE
 
          WASHINGTON – The Office of Justice Programs today announced an award of $750,000 to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, Inc., to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse.
 
         OJP’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded the grant to continue funding a national training and technical assistance program for attorneys and others involved in the prosecution of child abuse. The funds, provided through OJJDP’S Victims of Child Abuse Training and Technical Assistance for Child Abuse Prosecutors program, will help increase public safety through aggressive prosecution of those who abuse or exploit children.
 
         In 2018, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports of apparent child sexual abuse imagery; online enticement, including “sextortion;” child sex trafficking; and child sexual molestation. That same year, more than 1 million youth between the ages of 12 and 17 were victims of violent crime—an increase of more than 140,000 from 2016, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Moreover, an estimated 1,700 children died due to abuse and neglect in the U.S. in 2016, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.
 
          “It is simply not enough to identify and arrest those suspected of child abuse, exploitation or trafficking—they must be successfully prosecuted,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “These funds will be used to train and equip prosecutors with the tools necessary to bring justice to those who have been victimized by enhancing prosecutors’ ability to convict those who harm children.”
 
          Training for prosecutors and related criminal justice professionals under this program includes improved child interview techniques, thorough investigative methods, interagency coordination and effective presentation of evidence in court. In addition to supporting training and technical assistance, the program funds the development and promotion of publications and related resources for prosecutors in juvenile and adult courts.
 
          “Protecting youth and increasing safety in our communities are central to OJJDP’s work,” said OJJDP Administrator Caren Harp. “Public safety depends on having investigators and prosecutors who are equipped to stop criminals who would do harm to our children.”
 
          Last year, OJJDP awarded nearly $18 million under its Victims of Child Abuse grant programs. Those grants supported children’s advocacy centers and multidisciplinary teams of professionals who respond to children’s maltreatment. Details on those awards can be found online at https://go.usa.gov/xE86S.
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