Legislators Work to Improve Laws on Runaways

State and federal lawmakers from around the country are pressing a variety of new laws that would make sweeping changes in the way runaways and prostituted children are handled by police officers and social workers.


From November 2006 through November 2009, the police in New York City failed in about 40 percent of cases to enter missing-person reports into the database for runaways within 24 hours of receiving the report, according to a review of cases reported to the National Center for missing and Exploited Children. The national average during that period was around 16 percent.


The bill, co-sponsored by Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, also requires the police to provide anyone who reports a missing person with information about the services provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Runaway Switchboard. In many cases, the police said, they often did not take reports about runaways as seriously as abductions, and families were often unaware of other resources.

Much more: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/us/04runaways.html