Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $150,000)
The National Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, as established by the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008, consists of State and local law enforcement task forces dedicated to developing effective responses to online enticement of children by sexual predators, child exploitation, and child obscenity and pornography cases. Each State and local task force that is part of the national program shall: 1) consist of State and local investigators, prosecutors, forensic specialists, and education specialists who are dedicated to addressing the goals of the task force; 2) engage in proactive investigations, forensic examinations, and effective prosecutions of Internet crimes against children; 3) provide forensic, preventive, and investigative assistance to parents, educators, prosecutors, law enforcement, and others concerned with Internet crimes against children; 4) develop multijurisdictional, multiagency partnerships and responses to Internet crimes against children offenses through ongoing informational, administrative, and technological support to other State and local law enforcement agencies, as a means for such agencies to acquire the necessary knowledge, personnel, and specialized equipment to investigate and prosecute such offenses; 5) participate in nationally coordinated investigations in any case in which the Attorney General determines such participation to be necessary, as permitted by the available resource of such task force; 6) establish or adopt investigative and prosecution standards consistent with established norms, to which such task force shall comply; 7) investigate, and seek prosecution on tips related to Internet crimes against children, including tips from Operation Fairplay, the National Internet Crimes Against Children Data System, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline, ICAC task forces, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, with priority being given to investigate leads that indicate the possibility of identifying or rescuing child victims, including investigative leads that indicate a likelihood of seriousness of offense or dangerousness to the community; 8) develop procedures for handling seized evidence for ICAC task force lead agencies and affiliate agencies; 9) maintain reports required by OJJDP and other reports and records as determined by the Attorney General; and, 10) seek to comply with national standards regarding the investigation and prosecution of Internet crimes against children, as set forth by the Attorney General, to the extent such standards are consistent with the law of the State where the task force is located.
The New Mexico Office of the Attorney General plans to use grant funds to support the on-going investigative and forensic efforts of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force to protect children from exploitation via technology. The funding will support and enhance existing digital forensics efforts with the identification, apprehension, and prosecution of child sexual predators statewide. The project goals and objectives will encompass three components: 1) enhance task force digital forensic capacity by increasing the number of forensic examinations completed. There is an expected increase of 17% in each of the next two years, 2) reduce the backlog of cases awaiting forensic examinations. The backlog will be reduced by 50% in each of the next two years, and 3) increase the number of cases prosecuted as a result of enhanced forensic capacity. The number of prosecutions will increase by 10% in each of the next two years. (CA/CF)