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National Estimates of Missing Children: Selected Trends, 1988-1999

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2004
8 pages
Publication Series
Based on surveys of households, juvenile residential facilities, and law enforcement agencies, this report highlights trends from 1988 to 1999 of missing children.
Understanding how many children become missing throughout the United States and why is an important step in addressing the problem of missing children. This report presents a summary of select findings from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2) and the previous NISMART-1. The analysis examined trends in the incidence of family abduction victims, runaways, and children classified as lost, injured, or otherwise missing from 1988 to 1999 with positive results. The analysis offered evidence of significant declines in incidence rates for children who experienced broad scope family abduction episodes and lost, injured, or otherwise missing episodes, as well as some evidence of declines in incidence rates for children who experienced broad scope runaway episodes and policy focal lost, injured, or otherwise missing episodes. The most important finding was the absence of increases in any of these problems. In addition, during this time period, significant mobilization on behalf of missing children was seen. Law enforcement officers received special training and public awareness grew as a result of media coverage and the dissemination of educational programs to schools and families. References

Date Published: December 1, 2004