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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    106-360

======================================================================



 
               CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT

                                _______


October 1, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

             Mr. Hyde, from the Committee on the Judiciary,

                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 764]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 764) to reduce the incidence of child abuse and 
neglect, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                  

                                                                 Page
Purpose and Summary........................................           1
Background and Need for the Legislation....................           2
Hearings...................................................           3
Committee Consideration....................................           3
Vote of the Committee......................................           3
Committee Oversight Findings...............................           3
Committee on Government Reform Findings....................           4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures..................           4
Committee Cost Estimate....................................           4
Constitutional Authority Statement.........................           4
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.................           4
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported......           6

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 764, the ``Child Abuse Prevention and 
Enforcement Act,'' is to provide increased funding for the 
investigation of child abuse crimes and prevention programs 
designed to prevent child abuse and other domestic violence. 
The bill would make three
changes to current law. First, it would an amend an existing 
Justice Department program that makes grants to States to 
assist them in providing equipment and personnel training for 
closed-circuit television and videotaping of the testimony of 
children in criminal child abuse cases. H.R. 764 would amend 
this program to permit these grant funds to be used for an 
additional purpose namely, ``to provide child protective 
workers and child welfare workers (in public and private 
agencies . . .) access to criminal conviction information and 
orders of protection based on the claim of domestic or child 
abuse, or to improve law enforcement access to judicial custody 
orders, visitation orders, protection orders, [and] 
guardianship orders. . . .''
    Second, H.R. 764 would amend the Byrne Grant statute, 42 
U.S.C. Sec. 3750 et. seq., which provides discretionary funds 
to State and local governments to fight crime and drug abuse 
problems. The Byrne Grant statute specifies 26 permissible uses 
for these discretionary grants.
    H.R. 764 would amend this statute to add an additional 
permissible use for these Federal funds, namely ``to enforce 
child abuse and neglect laws and programs designed to prevent 
child abuse and neglect.''
    Third, H.R. 764 would amend the Victims of Crime Act of 
1984, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 10610 et. seq., which created the Crime 
Victims Fund. Under current law, the first $10 million of the 
funds deposited in the fund each year are to be expended by the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services for grants relating to 
child abuse prevention and treatment. Of the remaining funds, 
48.5 percent are to be use for grants to State crime victim 
compensation programs, 48.5 percent are to be use for victim 
assistance programs, and 3 percent are to be used for grants 
for demonstration projects and training in technical assistance 
services to eligible crime assistance programs. H.R. 764 would 
increase the ``earmark'' for child abuse and domestic 
assistance programs from $10 million to $20 million.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    According to a recent Federal study of the incidence of 
chid abuse and neglect in America, the number of abused and 
neglected children in this country nearly doubled between 1986 
and 1993. Today, the country's child protective service 
agencies handle more than a million cases annually of abused 
and neglected children. H.R. 764 provides additional Federal 
assistance to community law enforcement efforts to respond to 
child abuse and neglect in two principal ways. First, it would 
double--from $10 million to $20 million--the money available to 
States under the Victims of Crime Act. These funds are critical 
for a wide array of unmet legal needs for abused and neglected 
children who find themselves going through the criminal justice 
system as victims and witnesses. The current modest set aside 
of crime victim funds has been used to support considerable 
innovative work on improving abuse investigations, child victim 
interviewing, criminal prosecution, and other court-related 
assistance. Since this set aside was established, contributions 
to the Crime Victims Fund have substantially increased, yet the 
amount of the set aside has remained unchanged. H.R. 764 will 
increase this amount to reflect the overall increase in crime 
victim funds.
    Second, H.R. 764 seeks to improve law enforcement's 
response to the abuse of children. It would provide financial 
incentives to encourage law enforcement agencies to help child 
protective service agencies conduct child safety assessments; 
that is, by determining if there is criminal-history or civil-
protection-order information (from prior domestic violence or 
child abuse cases) related to adults living in the child's 
home. In 1997, in the Adoption and Safe Families Act, Congress 
made it clear that it expected child safety to be the primary 
responsibility of State and local child welfare agency work. 
That law includes a requirement to conduct criminal record 
checks on proposed adult foster and adoptive parents. H.R. 764 
would provide incentives to States to check the criminal 
histories of adults in homes where suspected child abuse is 
being investigated. Innumerable studies have pointed to the 
prevalence of such past behavior as the leading indicator of 
risk of harm to children. It is critical that child protective 
service workers have, through the support of the police, access 
to any such relevant information in making child risk-
assessment determinations.

                                Hearings

    The Subcommittee on Crime held a legislative hearing on 
H.R. 764 on May 11, 1999. Testifying at the hearing was Cathryn 
Turman, Acting Director, Office of Victims of Crime, United 
States Department of Justice; Patrick Coleman, Deputy Director 
of Policy Management, Bureau of Justice Assistance, United 
States Department of Justice; Major Lynn Jones, Tulsa Police 
Department; Deborah Sendek, Director, Center for Child Abuse 
Prevention, Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio; John H. Stein, 
Deputy Director, National Organization for Victim assistance; 
and Robert Horowitz, ABA Steering Committee on Unmet Legal 
Needs of Children.

                        Committee Consideration

    On September 28, 1999, the committee met in open session 
and ordered reported favorably the bill H.R. 764 without 
amendment by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    Vote on final passage: passed by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the committee reports 
that the findings and recommendations of the committee, based 
in oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

                Committee on Government Reform Findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House Rule XI is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate was not available 
at the time of printing this report. The committee estimates 
that enactment of this legislation will result in no additional 
costs to the Federal government.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to rule XI, clause 2(l)(4) of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in Article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

Sec. 1. Short Title.
    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Child Abuse Prevention and Enforcement Act.''
Sec. 2. Improvement of access to certain court and law enforcement 
        records.
    This section would amend 42 U.S.C. section 3796 aa-1, et. 
seq. These provisions authorize the director of the Bureau of 
Justice Assistance (BJA) to make grants to States to enable 
them to provide equipment and personnel training for closed-
circuit television and videotaping of the testimony of children 
in criminal proceedings for the violation of laws relating to 
child abuse. Under the existing program, States and units of 
local government may make applications to BJA for grants to be 
used for this purpose. H.R. 764 would amend this section to 
permit these grants to be used for an additional purpose 
namely, ``to provide child protective workers and child welfare 
workers (in public and private agencies . . .) access to 
criminal conviction information and orders of protection based 
on the claim of domestic or child abuse, or to improve law 
enforcement access to judicial custody orders, visitation 
orders, protection orders, [and] guardianship orders. . . .''
Sec. 3. Use of funds under the Byrne Grant Program for child 
        protection.
    This section would modify the Federal crime control 
assistance program known as the Byrne Grant Program (42 U.S.C. 
Sec. 10610 et. seq.). In 1986, Congress passed the Anti-Drug 
Abuse Act of 1986 (Public Law No. 99-570), which amended the 
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (Public Law 
No. 90-351) in order to provide financial assistance to State 
and local governments and to coordinate government efforts to 
fight crime and drug abuse problems. In 1988, this financial 
assistance program was renamed the Edward Byrne Memorial State 
and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program. The grants 
distributed under this program are commonly referred to as the 
Byrne Grants. The statute was amended again in 1990 and 1994.
    The statute authorizes the Federal Government to award both 
block grant and discretionary grants for specified activities. 
Block grants are allocated to the States on the basis of 
population, and are to be used for personnel, equipment, 
training, technical assistance, and information systems to 
improve criminal justice systems. Discretionary funds are 
awarded on a competitive basis in accordance with priorities 
established by BJA and also by Congress (through ``earmarks'' 
in regular appropriation bills). The discretionary program 
funds are distributed to non-Federal public and private 
organizations undertaking projects that educate criminal 
justice personnel or provide technical assistance to State and 
local governments. In FY 1999, Congress appropriated $552 
million for this program, $505 million for the formula grants 
and $47 million for the discretionary grants.
    The Byrne Grant statute specifies 26 permissible uses for 
these funds. They include such programs as those intended to 
reduce drug demand, programs that integrate Federal, State, and 
local drug law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, programs 
to disrupt illicit commerce in stolen goods and property, 
programs designed to prosecute career criminals, programs 
designed to provide alternatives to prevent detention, jail, 
and prison for persons who pose no danger to the community, and 
programs for the prosecution of persons who drive while 
intoxicated.
    H.R. 764 would amend the Byrne Grant Program to add an 
additional permissible use for these Federal funds, namely ``to 
enforce child abuse and neglect laws and programs design to 
prevent child abuse and neglect.''
Sec. 4. Increase in set aside for child abuse victims under the Victims 
        of Crime Act of 1984.
    This section would amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984. 
This law was passed to assist States in directly compensating 
and providing support services to victims and families of 
victims of violent crimes. In order to generate revenue for 
this purpose, the Act created the Crime Victims Fund, which is 
financed from the collection of criminal fines, penalty 
assessments, and forfeited appearance bonds of persons 
convicted of crimes against the United States. In FY 1998, 383 
million was deposited into this fund for distribution in FY 
1999.
    There are two principal programs established under the act. 
The victims compensation program provides funds to State which 
have in place their own programs to compensate victims of 
crime. The Federal funds are to be used by the States to offer 
direct reimbursement to victims of violent crimes or their 
survivors for non-reimbursable medical costs, lost wages and 
support, and funeral expenses arising from a crime-related 
injury or death. The victim assistance program also provide 
grants to States which are then authorized to distribute the 
funds to support public and non- profit agencies that provide 
direct services to victims of crime. Services provided by these 
agencies include 24-hour crisis hotlines for victims of sexual 
assault, shelter for victims of spousal abuse, and counseling 
for victims of child abuse. States are awarded a base amount, 
increased by additional funds distributed on the basis of 
population.
    Under current law the first $10 million of the funds 
deposited in the fund each year are to be expended by the 
Secretary of Health and Human Services for grants relating to 
child abuse prevention and treatment. Of the remaining funds, 
48.5 percent are to be use for grants to State crime victim 
compensation programs, 48.5 percent are to be use for victim 
assistance programs, and three percent are to be used for 
grants for demonstration projects and training in technical 
assistance services to eligible crime assistance programs.
    H.R. 764 would increase the ``earmark'' for child abuse and 
domestic assistance programs from $10 million to $20 million.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

           OMNIBUS CRIME CONTROL AND SAFE STREETS ACT OF 1968



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
                   TITLE I--JUSTICE SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


          Part E--Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant Programs

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


      Subpart 1--Drug Control and System Improvement Grant Program

  description of the drug control and system improvement grant program

    Sec. 501. (a) * * *
    (b) The Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance 
(hereafter in this part referred to as the ``Director'') is 
authorized to make grants to States, for the use by States and 
units of local government in the States, for the purpose of 
enforcing State and local laws that establish offenses similar 
to offenses established in the Controlled Substances Act (21 
U.S.C. 801 et seq.) and to improve the functioning of the 
criminal justice system with emphasis on violent crime and 
serious offenders. Such grants shall provide additional 
personnel, equipment, training, technical assistance, and 
information systems for the more widespread apprehension, 
prosecution, adjudication, and detention and rehabilitation of 
persons who violate these laws, and to assist the victims of 
such crimes (other than compensation), including--
            (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

            (25) developing or improving in a forensic 
        laboratory a capability to analyze deoxyribonucleic 
        acid (hereinafter in this title referred to as ``DNA'') 
        for identification purposes; [and]
            (26) to develop and implement antiterrorism 
        training programs and to procure equipment for use by 
        local law enforcement authorities[.]; and
            (27) enforcing child abuse and neglect laws and 
        programs designed to prevent child abuse and neglect.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[Part N--Grants for Closed-Circuit Televising of Testimony of Children 
                       Who Are Victims of Abuse]

PART N--GRANTS FOR CLOSED-CIRCUIT TELEVISING OF TESTIMONY OF CHILDREN 
 WHO ARE VICTIMS OF ABUSE AND FOR IMPROVING ACCESS TO COURT AND LAW 
 ENFORCEMENT RECORDS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING CHILD ABUSE

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                      description of grant program

    Sec. 1402. The Director is authorized to make grants to 
provide equipment and personnel training for the closed-circuit 
televising and video taping of the testimony of children in 
criminal proceedings for the violation of laws relating to the 
abuse of children or to provide child protective workers and 
child welfare workers (in public and private agencies, who, in 
the course of their official duties, are engaged in the 
assessment of risk and other actions related to the protection 
of children, including placement of children in foster care) 
access to criminal conviction information and orders of 
protection based on a claim of domestic or child abuse, or to 
improve law enforcement access to judicial custody orders, 
visitation orders, protection orders, guardianship orders, stay 
away orders, or other similar judicial orders.

                     applications to receive grants

    Sec. 1403. To request a grant under section 1402, the chief 
executive officer of a State or unit of local government shall 
submit to the Director an application at such time and in such 
form as the Director may require. Such application shall 
include--
            (1) a certification that Federal funds made 
        available under section 1402 of this title will not be 
        used to supplant State or local funds, but will be used 
        to increase the amounts of such funds that would, in 
        the absence of such funds, be made available for 
        criminal proceedings for the violation of laws relating 
        to the abuse of children or to provide child protective 
        workers and child welfare workers (in public and 
        private agencies, who, in the course of their official 
        duties, are engaged in the assessment of risk and other 
        actions related to the protection of children, 
        including placement of children in foster care) access 
        to criminal conviction information and orders of 
        protection based on a claim of domestic or child abuse, 
        or to improve law enforcement access to judicial 
        custody orders, visitation orders, protection orders, 
        guardianship orders, stay away orders, or other similar 
        judicial orders; and
            (2) a certification that funds required to pay the 
        non-Federal portion of the cost of equipment and 
        personnel training for which such grant is made shall 
        be in addition to funds that would otherwise be made 
        available by the recipients of grant funds for criminal 
        proceedings for the violation of laws relating to the 
        abuse of children or to provide child protective 
        workers and child welfare workers (in public and 
        private agencies, who, in the course of their official 
        duties, are engaged in the assessment of risk and other 
        actions related to the protection of children, 
        including placement of children in foster care) access 
        to criminal conviction information and orders of 
        protection based on a claim of domestic or child abuse, 
        or to improve law enforcement access to judicial 
        custody orders, visitation orders, protection orders, 
        guardianship orders, stay away orders, or other similar 
        judicial orders.

                         review of applications

    Sec. 1404. (a) An applicant is eligible to receive a grant 
for closed circuit televising of testimony of children who are 
victims of abuse under this part if----
            (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                              definitions

    Sec. 1409. For purposes of this part--
            (1) the term ``child'' means an individual under 
        the age of 18 years; and
            (2) the term ``abuse'' means physical or mental 
        injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent 
        treatment of a child or the taking of a child in 
        violation of a court order.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


            SECTION 1402 OF THE VICTIMS OF CRIME ACT OF 1984

                           crime victims fund

    Sec. 1402. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (d) The Fund shall be available as follows:
            (1) * * *
            (2) the next [$10,000,000] $20,000,000 deposited in 
        the Fund shall be available for grants under section 
        1404A.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *