Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler today opened the National Internet Crimes Against Children Conference, "PROTECTing our Children; Making the Internet a Safer Place," in Jacksonville, Fla. The conference features highly specialized training provided by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, their federal partner agencies and other organizations to an audience of federal, state and local law enforcement investigators, forensic experts and prosecutors. More than 1,200 participants are in Jacksonville for the conference sessions ending on May 14.
"The Department of Justice is committed to fighting against the sexual exploitation of children and a key part of that fight is acting together as a nation to protect our children," said Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grindler. "The ICAC program does just that by bringing thousands of federal, state, and local investigators and prosecutors together to share information, investigate cases, conduct training, and develop law enforcement technologies and techniques to interdict child exploitation."
Launched in 1998, the ICAC Task Force Program (ICAC Program) is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces representing more than 3,000 federal, state and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. These agencies are engaged in proactive investigations, forensic investigations and criminal prosecutions. In Fiscal Year 2009, task forces reported nearly 28,000 complaints, including child pornography, enticement or obscenity directed to minors and child prostitution. These complaints resulted in more than 13,000 investigations. In addition, The PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008 provided for the development of a national strategy to combat child exploitation and established long range goals for preventing child exploitation.
The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention administers funding and provides training and technical assistance to the ICAC task forces and their partners. Last year, the ICAC Program received $75 million in federal funding, with $50 million awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. More than $12 million of that funding supported training, technical assistance and research – key elements in refining and strengthening the effectiveness of the ICAC Program.
The department’s effort to protect children is a personal priority of Attorney General Eric Holder. On March 31, the department announced the availability of more than $5 million to support the Attorney General’s Initiative on Children Exposed to Violence. The funds will sponsor planning, outreach, research and best practices for reducing children’s exposure to violence.
OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has seven components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; the Community Capacity Development Office, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at www.ojp.gov .