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Operation Lady Justice: Missing Person Clearinghouses Fact Sheet

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2020
2 pages
This fact sheet describes the features of state clearinghouses for information regarding missing and exploited children, which is an important resource for Operation Lady Justice (OLJ), whose goal is to improve the operation of the criminal justice system in addressing concerns of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities in preventing and responding to cases of missing and murdered people, particularly women and girl victims.
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 was amended in 1985 to provide states assistance to either establish and operate or to expand and operate statewide clearinghouse for information on missing and exploited children. Missing child clearinghouses exist or are in the process of development in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many states have expanded the missing child clearinghouses to include adults, missing endangered adults, and or missing persons with dementia or other mental disabilities. Missing child/person clearinghouses provide a wide range of services through collaboration with various agencies, including local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Services include reporting and identifying missing and unidentified persons, maintenance of a database of missing persons, dispersion of information into state and national databases, assistance to the public, and collaboration with other state clearinghouses. Other resources include the development of missing person training programs, online lists of the state's current missing persons, and the provision of missing person alerts.

Date Published: August 1, 2020