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  January 2002

Protecting Children in Cyberspace: The ICAC Task Force Program

by Michael Medaris and Cathy Girouard



The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program

Challenges of Cyberspace Policing


For Further Information

Additional Resources


NCJ 191213

This Bulletin was prepared by Michael Medaris, Senior Program Manager of OJJDPs Child Protection Division, and Cathy Girouard, Program Manager of OJJDPs Child Protection Division.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.

A Message From OJJDP

Children have embraced the Internet with remarkable alacrity, as they go online to learn, play, and communicate with their friends. The Internet clearly influences how a growing number of children discover and interact with the world around them.

Unfortunately, cyberspace is not always a safe place for youngsters to visit. Some sex offenders use the privacy and anonymity of the Internet to prey on vulnerable children and teenagers, whose Internet access is often unsupervised. In exchanging child pornography or seeking victims online, sex offenders may face little risk of interdiction of their criminal activities.

To combat computer-facilitated sex crimes, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, which protects children in cyberspace.

Although apprehending sex offenders who use the Internet to facilitate their crimes presents significant challenges, the ICAC Program can help State and local law enforcement agencies to develop an effective response to online enticement and child pornography cases. Included in this response are community education, forensic, investigative, and victim service components.

We encourage parents, policymakers, and practitioners to use the information provided by this Bulletin to help create an Internet environment in which children can safely play, learn, and grow.


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