S 175

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 175

To provide enhanced Federal enforcement and assistance in preventing and prosecuting crimes of violence against children.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011

Mrs. BOXER introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To provide enhanced Federal enforcement and assistance in preventing and prosecuting crimes of violence against children.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Violence Against Children Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) According to a report by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, in 2007, more than 248,000 violent crimes were committed against children between ages 12 and 17.

      (2) According to data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System, people under the age of 18 make up approximately 26 percent of violent crime victims reported to police, including 70 percent of all reported sexual assaults. Of the victims under the age of 18, approximately 37 percent were under the age of 12.

      (3) According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, people between the ages of 12 and 19 are victims of violent crime twice as often as people over the age of 20.

      (4) According to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 35 percent of violent crimes against people between ages 12 and 19 are actually reported to police.

      (5) According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that more than 85,000 children were victims of physical abuse in 2006, of which approximately 465 were fatalities.

      (6) Child abuse has long-lasting negative effects upon children and families, including delayed development, depression, substance abuse, and increased likelihood of experiencing or perpetrating domestic violence as an adult.

      (7) Local law enforcement agencies are in need of additional resources to protect and serve the needs of children and families.

      (8) Legal representation, including training requirements for attorneys, guardians ad litem (GAL), and court appointed special advocates (CASA), and caseload restrictions, for children in dependency court varies substantially by State and jurisdiction.

      (9) With an estimated 30,000 gangs operating within the United States, gang violence and drug trafficking remain serious problems throughout the country, causing injury and death to innocent victims, often children.

      (10)(A) For example, on November 13, 2005, a gang-related dispute broke out in San Bernardino, California, and gunfire sprayed an apartment building, killing 11-year-old Mynisha Crenshaw and seriously wounding her 14-year-old sister as they ate Sunday dinner with their family.

      (B) This tragic shooting symbolizes the struggle that so many communities across the United States, like San Bernardino, face in combating gang violence, and serves as a reminder of the nationwide problem of protecting children from senseless violence.

      (11) Coordination of Federal resources is needed to reduce gang violence through proven and proactive prevention and intervention programs, including programs that focus on keeping at-risk youth in school and out of the criminal justice system.

      (12) According to a 2006 report by the Washington State Attorney General and the Department of Justice (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), in 76 percent of murders of an abducted child, the murder is committed within 3 hours of the abduction.

      (13) The same report found that in 89 percent of missing child murders, the child died within 24 hours of disappearing.

      (14) For example, on March 27, 2009, 8-year-old Sandra Cantu of Tracy, California, was reported missing by her mother. Following more than a week of search and investigation, she was found dead, the victim of kidnapping and murder.

      (15) Federal, State, and local law enforcement must have more tools to act quickly in investigating reports of crimes against children, particularly child abductions.

TITLE I--ENHANCED ASSISTANCE FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE AND LOCAL ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS

SEC. 101. ENHANCED ASSISTANCE FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS BY STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.

    (a) In General- At the request of a State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government, the Attorney General shall provide technical, forensic, prosecutorial, or any other form of assistance in the criminal investigation or prosecution of any crime that--

      (1) constitutes a felony under the laws of the State or Indian tribe; and

      (2) is committed against an individual under 18 years of age.

    (b) Priority- If the Attorney General determines that there are insufficient resources to fulfill requests made pursuant to subsection (a), the Attorney General shall give priority to requests for assistance to--

      (1) crimes committed by, or believed to be committed by, offenders who have committed crimes in more than 1 State; and

      (2) jurisdictions that have limited resources and difficulty covering the extraordinary expenses relating to the investigation or prosecution of the crime.

    (c) Reporting Requirements-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Every 180 days following the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report on applications for Federal assistance under this Act, and Federal assistance provided under this Act.

      (2) CONTENTS- Each report under paragraph (1) shall include--

        (A) a listing of all applications for Federal assistance under this title during the previous 180 days;

        (B) a description of each application submitted during the previous 180 days, whether approved, denied, or pending, including the name of the requesting party and the nature of the request for assistance;

        (C) reasons for approval or denial of each application, and the persons involved in the review and decision-making process for each application; and

        (D) if Federal assistance was provided, a description of the assistance provided, including the date on which the assistance was provided.

    (d) Enhanced Tracking and Coordination of FBI Efforts in Addressing Crimes Against Children-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council that sets forth the proposed systems, procedures and protocols developed and implemented in response to Chapter 3 of the Office of Inspector General's Audit Report 09-08 (January 2009) entitled `The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Efforts to Combat Crimes Against Children,' including any additional funding needs for development and implementation of the recommendations.

      (2) CONTENT- If any recommendation proposed in the Office of Inspector General's Audit Report 09-08 (January 2009) remains incomplete or has not been implemented at the time the report required under paragraph (1) is prepared, the report shall describe--

        (A) the reasons that the remaining recommendation has not been implemented; or

        (B) a specific action plan for implementing or completing implementation of the remaining recommendation.

      (3) APPROPRIATE COMMITTEES- In this subsection, the term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--

        (A) the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Appropriations, and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate; and

        (B) the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Appropriations, the Committee on Education and Labor, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

    (e) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General--

      (1) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016 for the Crimes Against Children Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with $2,500,000 of such funds for the Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) program; and

      (2) $2,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2016 for the Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) program of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention for the purpose of providing training and technical assistance on child abductions to local law enforcement.

SEC. 102. ENHANCED MONITORING FOR PAROLEES.

    (a) In General- Section 505 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3755) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(i) Enhanced Monitoring for Parolees-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- A State receiving funds under this subpart shall--

        `(A) use not less than 7.5 percent of the total funds received under this subpart each fiscal year for the purpose of improving the parole system of the State by allocating--

          `(i) not less than 3.75 percent of the total funds received under this subpart to the State department of corrections or highest agency responsible for the parole system of the State; and

          `(ii) not less than 3.75 percent of the total funds received under this subpart to law enforcement or other agencies of a unit of local government or other unit of local government officials that are responsible for maintaining local corrections facilities and assisting with parole enforcement in the State;

        `(B) not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Violence Against Children Act of 2011, submit to the Attorney General a report in accordance with regulations which shall be promulgated by the Attorney General, that includes--

          `(i) statistics regarding the number of violations of parole and re-incarcerations in the State, including specific statistics for those convicted of a crime of violence against a child;

          `(ii) a description of any weaknesses of the parole system of the State;

          `(iii) the number of parolees who have committed a crime of violence against a child;

          `(iv) the number of crimes of violence against children that have been committed by parolees during the last 5 full fiscal years before the date of the submission of the report;

          `(v) an action plan for improving the parole system of the State for individuals who have been convicted of a crime of violence against a child, including measurable criteria for improvement; and

          `(vi) any other information the Attorney General determines necessary;

        `(C) not later than 1 year after the submission of the report under subparagraph (B), and annually thereafter, submit to the Attorney General an updated version of the report described in subparagraph (B);

        `(D) take steps to ensure that the State is using the most up-to-date and effective technology in monitoring parolees who have been convicted of a crime of violence against a child; and

        `(E) establish a program that places additional restrictions and penalties, including increased monitoring or longer periods of incarceration, on a parolee who--

          `(i) has been convicted of a crime of violence against a child; and

          `(ii) violates the terms or conditions of the supervision of the parolee.

      `(2) FAILURE OF STATE TO COMPLY- For any fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of the Violence Against Children Act of 2011, a State that fails to comply with the requirements under paragraph (1), as determined by the Attorney General, shall not receive 7.5 percent of the total funds that would otherwise be allocated to the State for the subsequent fiscal year under this subpart.

      `(3) CRIME OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CHILD- For purposes of this subsection, the term `crime of violence against a child' means a crime of violence, as that term is defined in section 16 of title 18, United States Code, committed against an individual under 18 years of age.

      `(4) SUPPLEMENT, NOT SUPPLANT- A State receiving funds under this subsection shall use the funds to supplement and not supplant any additional funds received by the State to be used for parole corrections or law enforcement officials.'.

    (b) Sunset- Effective 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, section 505 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3755) is amended by striking subsection (i).

TITLE II--GRANT PROGRAMS

SEC. 201. FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) In General- The Attorney General shall award grants to assist States, Indian tribal governments, and units of local government to develop and strengthen effective law enforcement and prosecution of crimes against children.

    (b) Purposes- Grants provided under this section shall provide personnel, training, technical assistance, data collection, and other equipment for the more widespread apprehension, prosecution, and adjudication of persons committing crimes against children, and specifically, for the purposes of--

      (1) training law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other court personnel to more effectively identify and respond to crimes against children;

      (2) developing, training, or expanding units of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or courts specifically targeting crimes against children;

      (3) developing and implementing more effective police and prosecution policies, protocols, orders, and services specifically devoted to preventing, identifying, and responding to crimes against children;

      (4) developing, installing, or expanding data collection and communication systems, including computerized systems, linking police, prosecutors, and courts for the purpose of identifying and tracking arrests, prosecutions, and convictions for crimes against children;

      (5) encouraging, developing, and strengthening programs, procedures, and policies that enhance cross-collaboration and cross-communication between law enforcement and child services agencies regarding the care, treatment, and services for child victims;

      (6) developing, enlarging, or strengthening programs addressing the needs and circumstances of Indian tribes in dealing with crimes against children; and

      (7) developing, training, or expanding units of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or courts to investigate and prosecute Internet crimes against children, including increased development and training in the use of forensic methods.

    (c) Application-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by or containing such information as the Attorney General shall reasonably require.

      (2) REQUIREMENTS- A State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government applying for a grant under this section shall--

        (A) describe--

          (i) the purposes for which the grant is needed;

          (ii) the intended use of the grant funds; and

          (iii) the expected results from the use of grant funds;

        (B) demonstrate that, in developing a plan to implement the grant, the State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government has consulted and coordinated with nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs that have experience in providing services to victims of crimes against children; and

        (C) certify that--

          (i) any Federal funds received under this section will be used to supplement, not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for activities funded under this section; and

          (ii) the State, the Indian tribal government, or the State in which the unit of local government is located is in compliance with sections 301 and 302.

    (d) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $50,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2014.

SEC. 202. EDUCATION, PREVENTION, AND VICTIMS' ASSISTANCE GRANTS.

    (a) In General- The Attorney General shall award grants to assist States, Indian tribal governments, units of local government, universities, and nongovernmental organizations to provide education, prevention, intervention, and victims' assistance services regarding crimes against children.

    (b) Purposes- Grants provided under this section shall be used to provide education, prevention, and intervention services to prevent crimes against children and to provide assistance to children, and the families of children, who are victims of crime, including--

      (1) educational seminars;

      (2) the operation of hotlines;

      (3) training programs for professionals;

      (4) the preparation of informational material for education and public awareness;

      (5) multidisciplinary training curricula at accredited schools of law and undergraduate institutions in order to provide a broad and comprehensive foundation for improved intervention and representation of abused and neglected children;

      (6) intervention services to prevent crimes against children;

      (7) other efforts to increase awareness of the facts about, or to help prevent, crimes against children, including efforts to increase awareness in underserved racial, ethnic, and language minority communities;

      (8) emergency medical treatment for victims;

      (9) counseling to victims of crimes against children and their families; and

      (10) increasing the supply of mental health professionals specializing in the mental health of victims of crimes against children.

    (c) Application-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Each State, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or nongovernmental organization that desires a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Attorney General at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by or containing such information as the Attorney General shall reasonably require.

      (2) REQUIREMENTS- A State, Indian tribal government, unit of local government, or nongovernmental organization applying for a grant under this section shall--

        (A) describe--

          (i) the purposes for which the grant is needed;

          (ii) the intended use of the grant funds; and

          (iii) the expected results from the use of grant funds;

        (B) demonstrate that, in developing a plan to implement the grant--

          (i) in the case of a State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government, that the State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government has consulted and coordinated with nonprofit, nongovernmental victim services programs that have experience in providing services to victims of crimes against children; and

          (ii) in the case of a nongovernmental organization, that the nongovernmental organization has experience in providing education, prevention, or intervention services regarding crimes against children or has experience in providing services to victims of crimes against children; and

        (C) certify that--

          (i) any Federal funds received under this section will be used to supplement, not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise be available for activities funded under this section, provided that the Attorney General may waive such requirement for nongovernmental organizations in extraordinary circumstances; and

          (ii) the State, the Indian tribal government, the State in which the unit of local government is located, or the State in which the nongovernmental organization will operate the activities funded under this section is located, is in compliance with section 303.

    (d) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $50,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2012 through 2015.

TITLE III--NATIONWIDE PROGRAMS

SEC. 301. IMPROVED STATISTICAL GATHERING.

    Each State receiving grants pursuant to title II shall use, or shall be in the process of testing or developing protocols to use, the National Incident-Based Reporting System.

SEC. 302. IMPROVED CHILD PROTECTION SERVICES PROGRAMS.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each State receiving an allotment for child welfare services under subpart 1 of part B of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 620 et seq.) shall submit to the Secretary of Health and Human Services a report detailing the State's program funded under that subpart, including the process for maintaining records and verifying the well-being of the children under the State's care.

SEC. 303. MODEL TRAINING AND CASELOAD STANDARDS.

    (a) Development-

      (1) MODEL CURRICULUM AND TRAINING STANDARDS- The Secretary of Health and Human Services, in conjunction with the Attorney General, shall develop model standards for curriculum and training for individuals who are guardians ad litem, court appointed special advocates, or attorneys ad litem, in child abuse and neglect cases (as defined in section 111 of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (42 U.S.C. 5106g)). The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall design the standards to improve the quality of representation by, and uniformity of practices of, such individuals, throughout the United States.

      (2) CASELOAD STANDARDS- The Secretary of Health and Human Services, after consulting with the Attorney General, shall develop caseload standards for the individuals described in paragraph (1).

    (b) Dissemination- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall disseminate the standards developed under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) to State child welfare agencies receiving assistance under subpart 1 of part B of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 620 et seq.).

TITLE IV--MYNISHA'S LAW

SEC. 401. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as `Mynisha's Law'.

SEC. 402. DESIGNATION AS A HIGH INTENSITY GANG ACTIVITY AREA.

    (a) In General- A unit of local government, city, county, tribal government, or a group of counties (whether located in 1 or more States) may submit an application to the Attorney General for designation as a High Intensity Gang Activity Area.

    (b) Criteria-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Attorney General shall establish criteria for reviewing applications submitted under subsection (a).

      (2) CONSIDERATIONS- In establishing criteria under subsection (a) and evaluating an application for designation as a High Intensity Gang Activity Area, the Attorney General shall consider--

        (A) the current and predicted levels of gang crime activity in the area;

        (B) the extent to which violent crime in the area appears to be related to criminal gang activity;

        (C) the extent to which the area is already engaged in local or regional collaboration regarding, and coordination of, gang prevention activities; and

        (D) such other criteria as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate.

SEC. 403. PURPOSE OF THE TASK FORCE.

    (a) In General- In order to coordinate Federal assistance to High Intensity Gang Activity Areas, the Attorney General shall establish an Interagency Gang Prevention Task Force (in this title referred to as the `Task Force') in each such area, consisting of a representative from--

      (1) the Department of Justice;

      (2) the Department of Education;

      (3) the Department of Labor;

      (4) the Department of Health and Human Services; and

      (5) the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    (b) Coordination- For each High Intensity Gang Activity Area designated by the Attorney General under section 403, the Task Force shall--

      (1) coordinate the activities of the Federal Government to create a comprehensive gang prevention response, focusing on early childhood intervention, at-risk youth intervention, literacy, employment, community policing, and comprehensive community-based programs such as Operation Cease Fire; and

      (2) coordinate its efforts with local and regional gang prevention efforts.

    (c) Programs- Each Task Force shall prioritize the needs of a High Intensity Gang Activity Area for funding under--

      (1) the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858 et seq.);

      (2) the Even Start programs under subpart 3 of part B of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6381 et seq.);

      (3) the Healthy Start Initiative under section 330H of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 254c-8);

      (4) the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.);

      (5) the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program under part B of title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7171 et seq.);

      (6) the Job Corps program under subtitle C of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2881 et seq.);

      (7) the community development block grant program under title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301 et seq.);

      (8) the Gang Resistance Education and Training projects under subtitle X of title III of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (42 U.S.C. 13921);

      (9) any program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services;

      (10) the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program under part R of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3796ee et seq.);

      (11) the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program under subpart 1 of part E of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3750 et seq.); and

      (12) any other program that the Task Force determines to be appropriate.

    (d) Reporting Requirements-

      (1) ANNUAL TASK FORCE REPORTS TO AG- Not later than September 1 of each year, each Task Force shall submit to the Attorney General a report on the funding needs and programmatic outcomes for each area designated as a High Intensity Gang Activity Area.

      (2) ANNUAL AG REPORT TO CONGRESS- Not later than December 1 of each year, the Attorney General shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council that describes, for each designated High Intensity Gang Activity Area--

        (A) the specific long-term and short-term goals and objectives of each such area;

        (B) the measurements used to evaluate the performance of the High Intensity Gang Activity Area in achieving the long-term and short-term goals described under subparagraph (A);

        (C) the age, composition, and membership of gangs in each such area;

        (D) the number and nature of crimes committed by gangs and gang members in each such area;

        (E) the definition of the term `gang' used to compile the information required under this subsection for each such area; and

        (F) the programmatic outcomes and funding need of each High Intensity Gang Activity Area, including--

          (i) an evidence-based analysis of the best practices and outcomes from the work of the relevant local collaborative working group; and

          (ii) an analysis of whether Federal resources distributed meet the needs of the High Intensity Gang Activity Area and, if any programmatic funding shortfalls exist, recommendations for programs or funding to meet such shortfalls.

SEC. 404. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to meet any needs identified by the Attorney General or in any report submitted under section 403(d)(2).

TITLE V--SCHOOL SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS

SEC. 501. GRANT PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL SECURITY.

    Section 2701 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3797a) is amended--

      (1) in subsection (b)--

        (A) in paragraph (1)--

          (i) by striking `Placement' and inserting `Installation'; and

          (ii) by inserting `surveillance equipment,' after `detectors,';

        (B) by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (6); and

        (C) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:

      `(5) Establishment of hotlines or tiplines for the reporting of potentially dangerous students and situations.';

      (2) by striking subsection (d)(1) and inserting the following:

      `(1) The Federal share of the costs of a program provided by a grant under subsection (a) shall be not more than 80 percent of the total of such costs.'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) Interagency Task Force- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Director and the Secretary of Education, or the designee of the Secretary, shall establish an interagency task force to develop and promulgate a set of advisory school safety guidelines. The advisory school safety guidelines shall be published in the Federal Register by not later than 1 year after such date of enactment. In developing the final advisory school safety guidelines, the interagency task force shall consult with stakeholders and interested parties, including parents, teachers, and agencies.'.

SEC. 502. APPLICATIONS.

    Section 2702(a)(2) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3797b(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

      `(2) be accompanied by a report--

        `(A) signed by the heads of each law enforcement agency and school district with jurisdiction over the schools where the safety improvements will be implemented; and

        `(B) demonstrating that each proposed use of the grant funds will be--

          `(i) an effective means for improving the safety of 1 or more schools;

          `(ii) consistent with a comprehensive approach to preventing school violence; and

          `(iii) individualized to the needs of each school at which those improvements are to be made.'.

SEC. 503. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Section 2705 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3797e) is amended by striking `$30,000,000' and inserting `$50,000,000'.

END