The United States Attorney's Office vigorously defends children against exploitation under federal law. The office has a long history of prosecuting criminals that exploit children and steal their innocence. Before the inception of Project Safe Childhood, we prosecuted cases of exploitation on National Parks, as part of other violent crimes such as kidnapping, and through creation, distribution, or possession of child pornography.
Project Safe Childhood is a unified and comprehensive strategy to combat child exploitation. Initiated in May 2006, Project Safe Childhood combines law enforcement efforts, community action, and public awareness. The goal of Project Safe Childhood is to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children. There are five essential components to Project Safe Childhood: (1) building partnerships; (2) coordinating law enforcement; (3) training PSC partners; (4) public awareness; and (5) accountability.
The Department of Justice is committed to the safety and well-being of our children and has placed a high priority on protecting and combating sexual exploitation of minors. Since the launch of Project Safe Childhood in 2006, the number of cases and defendants prosecuted by United States Attorney's Offices has increased by 40%, with 2315 indictments against 2427 defendants filed in Fiscal Year 2009. PSC prosecutions by United States Attorney's Offices have increased each year since the launch of the initiative.
The Northern District of Mississippi has seen a similar uptick in prosecutions, including those of persons using the internet to entice minors to engage in illicit sex or send images of themselves to the criminals, possession and distribution of child pornography, and even the abuse of minors by persons that create images of child pornography by photographing the exploitation of the children.
The United States Attorney's Office has worked with federal agencies such as the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Secret Service. The office also fully supports the Mississippi Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force sponsored by the Mississippi Attorney General and local and state agencies.
If you have information regarding the suspected exploitation of a child, please take the time to report it to authorities. One easy way to report is through the CyberTipline, sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
If you need a speaker for a local civic or religious group about Internet Safety or Preventing Child Exploitation, please contact us and we will be happy to provide one.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, click the links below:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)
Report suspicious online activity to NCMEC at http://www.cybertipline.com
or call: 800-843-5678