1. The study's findings and recommendations are discussed in greater detail in the project's final report, The Criminal Justice System's Response to Parental Abduction: Final Report, which is available from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse (call 8006388736 or order online at http://puborder.ncjrs.org). Unless otherwise stated, legal and other research for this Bulletin was concluded in mid-1996. Readers wishing to rely on a particular legal reference should check the law itself to find accurate, updated language and citation information.

2. A detailed discussion of NISMART 2, which is currently under way, can be found in Hanson, L., 2000, Second Comprehensive Study of Missing Children, Bulletin, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

3. The survey instrument made the inquiry as to "whether . . . joint custody" was a factor in taking a report or influenced the investigative priority assigned to a case. Whether a court order was necessary to have "joint custody" was left to the interpretation of the responding agency.

4. The law mentioned in the section "Phase 2: Findings From Site Visits" was the law in effect at the time of the site visits and was current as of 1995.

5. Characteristics that were missing more than 30 percent of the data were eliminated from the chi-square analysis.

6. See Uthe (1996). The Act also appears in an appendix to The Criminal Justice System's Response to Parental Abduction: Final Report (see note 1).

7. The full text of the Act with commentary can be found in Volenik and Uthe (1993).

8. In accordance with NCIC 2000, technological capabilities are improving. As part of the improvement effort, guidelines are being developed and implemented. In light of this Bulletin's NCIC-related findings, the NCIC 2000 code for missing persons should state "parental abduction" rather than "noncustodial parent abduction." The present code is too narrow a construct because sometimes custodial parents conceal children in violation of the other parent's visitation rights. Codes should also expressly allow entry of abducting parents who are missing into the NCIC database, regardless of custodial or criminal status. It is imperative that the proposed NCIC 2000 guidelines relative to parental abduction (interstate and international) be reviewed to ensure that they facilitate, not hinder, the identification and recovery of abducted children, regardless of whether a custodian, noncustodian, or other person abducts them.

9. See Parental Abduction: A Review of the Literature (ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/ missing.html#186160) for more information about many of these topics. A description of this document can be found under "For Further Information."

10. The Missing and Exploited Children's Training and Technical Assistance Program, funded through a grant to Fox Valley Technical College and overseen by OJJDP's Child Protection Division, currently offers five different week-long training programs, including a program on Responding to Missing and Abducted Children.

11. In addition to the FBI, a number of other Federal agencies can be of assistance to criminal justice system personnel working on parental abduction cases. An excellent guide to this support is Federal Resources on Missing and Exploited Children: A Directory for Law Enforcement and Other Public and Private Agencies (3rd ed., May 2001), prepared by Fox Valley Technical College under a cooperative agreement with OJJDP. For further information on obtaining this document, call the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse at 8006388736.

12. In January 2000, the FBI expanded its Office of Crimes Against Children into the Crimes Against Children Unit (CACU). CACU is staffed by supervisory special agents and support professionals who focus on all crimes under the FBI's jurisdiction that in any way involve the victimization of children. The staff provide program management and fieldwide investigative oversight over these critical FBI operations. The mission of CACU is to provide a quick, effective response to all incidents under its jurisdiction, thereby increasing the number of victimized children recovered and reducing the number of crimes in which children are victimized.

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The Criminal Justice System's Response to Parental Abduction Juvenile Justice Bulletin December 2001