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Child Sexual Exploitation: Improving Investigations and Protecting Victims: A Blueprint for Action

NCJ Number
153527
Date Published
Annotation
Guidelines presented in this document are designed to guide collaboration among Federal, State, and local agencies involved in the investigation and prosecution of child pornography and prostitution cases and in the provision of services to young victims of these crimes.
Abstract
The guidelines recognize that many criminal justice agencies have a wealth of experience in working with child sexual abuse cases and young victims. Some agencies already have detailed protocols for the investigation process, including referral to child protection agencies or children's advocacy centers. Further, many communities have multidisciplinary teams that share information and streamline the investigative process to minimize its impact on young victims. Nonetheless, child sexual exploitation cases raise unique issues that are not always anticipated in existing child sexual abuse protocols. These cases tend to feature the additional complexities of concurrent Federal and State jurisdiction, and many involve a particularly challenging group of victims. Child pornography and child prostitution cases are rare in the caseloads of most criminal justice agencies. As a result, when a child sexual exploitation case is identified, responsible professionals may have little relevant experience to guide them at critical decision points. The guidelines are organized into seven sections: (1) philosophy and general policy underlying the need for guidelines in child sexual exploitation cases; (2) synopsis of Federal and State laws defining offenses that comprise child sexual exploitation and directing certain personnel to report suspected victims to appropriate child protection authorities; (3) roles, responsibilities, and resources of Federal, State, and local agencies that investigate and prosecute child sexual exploitation cases; (4) models for structuring a multijurisdictional, interagency approach to child sexual exploitation; (5) communication and coordination among criminal justice and victim assistance agencies; (6) key decision points in multijurisdictional investigations and points of entry for victim services; and (7) sources of training and technical assistance and references on topics pertaining to child sexual exploitation. 18 references and 15 footnotes
Date Created: October 14, 2003