Today July 15 at 2PM, Kristen’s Act is getting attention in congress. H.R. 423 would authorize the Attorney General to provide grants for organizations to find missing adults.
* Detailed Summary
* Status of the Legislation
* Points in Favor
Kristen’s Act Reauthorization of 2007- Directs the Attorney General, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, to make grants to public agencies and/or nonprofit private organizations to: (1) maintain a national resource center and information clearinghouse for missing and unidentified adults; (2) maintain a national, interconnected database for tracking missing adults who are determined by law enforcement to be endangered due to age, diminished mental capacity, or the circumstances of disappearance, when foul play is suspected or circumstances are unknown; (3) coordinate public and private programs that locate or recover missing adults or reunite missing adults with their families; (4) provide assistance and training to law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, elements of the criminal justice system, nonprofit organizations, and individuals in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of cases involving missing adults; (5) provide assistance to families in locating and recovering missing adults; and (6) assist in public notification and victim advocacy related to missing adults.
Directs the Attorney General, through the Director, to: (1) coordinate Government-funded programs relating to missing adults; and (2) provide the public agencies or nonprofit private organizations receiving grants to maintain a national resource center and information clearinghouse for missing and unidentified adults with access to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center.
Status of the Legislation
Latest Major Action: 2/2/2007: Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Points in Favor
The FBI recently released statistics for missing persons as of Dec 31, 2007. The report shows that of the roughly 100,000 missing persons cases being tracked by the FBI, ~48% are adults (See DOJ press release, http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel08/ncic2007stats053008.htm and associated report) . The bill renewing funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children [NCMEC] was signed by the President on June 3, 2008 (P.L. 110-240) but the companion bill renewing funding for the National Center for Missing Adults [NCMA] awaits action in the House Judiciary Committee. As of this writing, Rep Myrick’s bill has 24 cosponsors and no objections to the bill have been voiced.
NCMA has provided essential service to both families and law enforcement agencies for 14 years and is endorsed by over 300 law enforcement agencies. They provided crucial infrastructure and resources in the location and identification of well over 13,000 adults in the national emergency of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The cost of the Katrina effort wiped out the financial reserves of NCMA. HR 423 will restore the resources of an exemplary agency, allowing it to continue to provide a valuable public service.
Please contact your congressperson and let them know how you feel. You must act now. Time is of the essence. You can call your congressperson at 202-224-3121, ask for them by name or provide your zip code and the operator will look up your Representative. Or you can send an email directly by visiting http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/
Below is an example email:
Hi, my name is Melinda, I live in Miami, FL and I have a close family
member that has gone missing. I am calling concerning H.R.423, Kristen’s
Act Re-authorization of 2007. This bill provides funding to the NCMA, an
organization which provides support to missing persons and law enforcement
agents. The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security is
holding a hearing on this bill Tuesday July, 15 at 2PM and I want to urge
you to voice your support to the subcommittee before or during this time.
Your support is crucial. If you would like to get more involved, take a look at NCMA’S advocacy page. Also, please sign this petition Online petition – Support the National Center for Missing Adults (HR 423)