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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Deborah J. Daniels, the Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) announced today that she would be leaving her position, effective January 31, 2005. She was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate to head OJP on September 21, 2001.

During her tenure, OJP has provided federal leadership to develop the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime; administer justice, assist crime victims and improve the criminal and juvenile justice systems. OJP carries out this mission by forming partnerships with other federal, state and local agencies, as well as national and community-based organizations.

“Deborah Daniels has served the cause of justice with determination, dedication and professionalism,” said Attorney General Ashcroft. “The Office of Justice Programs, under her leadership, played a vital role in the Department's mission to protect the lives and liberties of the American people by assisting our state and local law enforcement partners in the war on terrorism and the fight against violent crime. I thank Deborah for her service and wish her well as she begins a new chapter in her life.”

Attorney General John Ashcroft appointed Ms. Daniels as the first National AMBER Alert Coordinator as part of a national effort to aid in recovering abducted children. In that capacity, she has been responsible for encouraging the creation and coordination of regional, state and local efforts to establish AMBER Alert plans.

When the national program was initiated in 2001 under her stewardship, there were only four states with statewide AMBER Alert plans; there are now 49. As a result of the expansion of this program, 174 children have been recovered since the program began in Texas in 1996. AMBER Alert became a nationally coordinated effort by the Department of Justice in October 2002. Since that time, 140 children have been recovered, constituting 80% of the total number of children saved by the program.

Additionally, Ms. Daniels has been responsible for dissemination and outreach related to the work of the Global Justice Information Sharing Advisory Committee, which advises the Attorney General and, through him, law enforcement at all levels on matters relating to effective

information and intelligence sharing. She also has coordinated OJP activities related to several other major Administration initiatives, including the President’s DNA initiative, Citizen Corps, and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

“The opportunity to serve this Administration has been an unparalleled honor and the highlight of my professional career,” Ms. Daniels said. “I will forever be grateful to President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft for having granted me the privilege of serving them and the citizens of this great country.”

Prior to joining the Justice Department, she served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana (Indianapolis) from 1988-1993. During her tenure as U. S. Attorney, she initiated the Weed and Seed initiative, a neighborhood safety and revitalization strategy to reduce violent crime, drug abuse and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods and sustain their long-term safety through economic development and increased individual opportunity. With the success of that local effort, Ms. Daniels then served under the Deputy Attorney General in Washington as the first director of the national Weed and Seed office.

Ms. Daniels received a BA with honors from DePauw University and graduated cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law. She will rejoin the Indianapolis, Indiana law firm of Krieg DeVault LLP.