National Child Protection Act of 1993


H.R.1237

One Hundred Third Congress of the United States of America AT THE FIRST SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday, the fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three An Act To establish procedures for national criminal background checks for child care providers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `National Child Protection Act of 1993'. SEC. 2. REPORTING CHILD ABUSE CRIME INFORMATION. (a) IN GENERAL- In each State, an authorized criminal justice agency of the State shall report child abuse crime information to, or index child abuse crime information in, the national criminal history background check system.

(b) PROVISION OF STATE CHILD ABUSE CRIME RECORDS THROUGH THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM- (1) Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall, subject to availability of appropriations-- (A) investigate the criminal history records system of each State and determine for each State a timetable by which the State should be able to provide child abuse crime records on an on-line basis through the national criminal history background check system;

(B) in consultation with State officials, establish guidelines for the reporting or indexing of child abuse crime information, including guidelines relating to the format, content, and accuracy of criminal history records and other procedures for carrying out this Act; and

(C) notify each State of the determinations made pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B).

(2) The Attorney General shall require as a part of each State timetable that the State--

(A) by not later than the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, have in a computerized criminal history file at least 80 percent of the final dispositions that have been rendered in all identifiable child abuse crime cases in which there has been an event of activity within the last 5 years;

(B) continue to maintain a reporting rate of at least 80 percent for final dispositions in all identifiable child abuse crime cases in which there has been an event of activity within the preceding 5 years; and

(C) take steps to achieve 100 percent disposition reporting, including data quality audits and periodic notices to criminal justice agencies identifying records that lack final dispositions and requesting those dispositions.

(c) LIAISON- An authorized agency of a State shall maintain close liaison with the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse for the exchange of technical assistance in cases of child abuse.

(d) ANNUAL SUMMARY- (1) The Attorney General shall publish an annual statistical summary of child abuse crimes.

(2) The annual statistical summary described in paragraph (1) shall not contain any information that may reveal the identity of any particular victim or alleged violator.

(e) ANNUAL REPORT- The Attorney General shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, publish an annual summary of each State's progress in reporting child abuse crime information to the national criminal history background check system.

(f) STUDY OF CHILD ABUSE OFFENDERS- (1) Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention shall begin a study based on a statistically significant sample of convicted child abuse offenders and other relevant information to determine--

(A) the percentage of convicted child abuse offenders who have more than 1 conviction for an offense involving child abuse; (B) the percentage of convicted child abuse offenders who have been convicted of an offense involving child abuse in more than 1 State; and

(C) the extent to which and the manner in which instances of child abuse form a basis for convictions for crimes other than child abuse crimes. (2) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a report to the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives containing a description of and a summary of the results of the study conducted pursuant to paragraph (1).

SEC. 3. BACKGROUND CHECKS. (a) IN GENERAL- (1) A State may have in effect procedures (established by State statute or regulation) that require qualified entities designated by the State to contact an authorized agency of the State to request a nationwide background check for the purpose of determining whether a provider has been convicted of a crime that bears upon an individual's fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children.

(2) The authorized agency shall access and review State and Federal criminal history records through the national criminal history background check system and shall make reasonable efforts to respond to the inquiry within 15 business days.

(b) GUIDELINES- The procedures established under subsection (a) shall require--

(1) that no qualified entity may request a background check of a provider under subsection (a) unless the provider first provides a set of fingerprints and completes and signs a statement that--

(A) contains the name, address, and date of birth appearing on a valid identification document (as defined in section 1028 of title 18, United States Code) of the provider;

(B) the provider has not been convicted of a crime and, if the provider has been convicted of a crime, contains a description of the crime and the particulars of the conviction;

(C) notifies the provider that the entity may request a background check under subsection (a);

(D) notifies the provider of the provider's rights under paragraph (2); and

(E) notifies the provider that prior to the completion of the background check the qualified entity may choose to deny the provider unsupervised access to a child to whom the qualified entity provides child care;

(2) that each provider who is the subject of a background check is entitled--

(A) to obtain a copy of any background check report; and (B) to challenge the accuracy and completeness of any information contained in any such report and obtain a prompt determination as to the validity of such challenge before a final determination is made by the authorized agency;

(3) that an authorized agency, upon receipt of a background check report lacking disposition data, shall conduct research in whatever State and local recordkeeping systems are available in order to obtain complete data;

(4) that the authorized agency shall make a determination whether the provider has been convicted of, or is under pending indictment for, a crime that bears upon an individual's fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of children and shall convey that determination to the qualified entity; and

(5) that any background check under subsection (a) and the results thereof shall be handled in accordance with the requirements of Public Law 92-544.

(c) REGULATIONS- (1) The Attorney General may by regulation prescribe such other measures as may be required to carry out the purposes of this Act, including measures relating to the security, confidentiality, accuracy, use, misuse, and dissemination of information, and audits and recordkeeping.

(2) The Attorney General shall, to the maximum extent possible, encourage the use of the best technology available in conducting background checks.

(d) LIABILITY- A qualified entity shall not be liable in an action for damages solely for failure to conduct a criminal background check on a provider, nor shall a State or political subdivision thereof nor any agency, officer or employee thereof, be liable in an action for damages for the failure of a qualified entity to take action adverse to a provider who was the subject of a background check.

(e) FEES- In the case of a background check pursuant to a State requirement adopted after the date of the enactment of this Act conducted with fingerprints on a person who volunteers with a qualified entity, the fees collected by authorized State agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation may not exceed the actual cost of the background check conducted with fingerprints. The States shall establish fee systems that insure that fees to non-profit entities for background checks do not discourage volunteers from participating in child care programs.

SEC. 4. FUNDING FOR IMPROVEMENT OF CHILD ABUSE CRIME INFORMATION.

(a) USE OF FORMULA GRANTS FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN STATE RECORDS AND SYSTEMS- Section 509(b) of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3759(b)) is amended--

(1) in paragraph (2) by striking `and' after the semicolon;

(2) in paragraph (3) by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

`(4) the improvement of State record systems and the sharing of all of the records described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) and the child abuse crime records required under the National Child Protection Act of 1993 with the Attorney General for the purpose of implementing the National Child Protection Act of 1993.'.

(b) ADDITIONAL FUNDING GRANTS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF CHILD ABUSE CRIME INFORMATION- (1) The Attorney General shall, subject to appropriations and with preference to States that, as of the date of enactment of this Act, have in computerized criminal history files the lowest percentages of charges and dispositions of identifiable child abuse cases, make a grant to each State to be used--

(A) for the computerization of criminal history files for the purposes of this Act;

(B) for the improvement of existing computerized criminal history files for the purposes of this Act;

(C) to improve accessibility to the national criminal history background check system for the purposes of this Act; and

(D) to assist the State in the transmittal of criminal records to, or the indexing of criminal history record in, the national criminal history background check system for the purposes of this Act.

(2) There are authorized to be appropriated for grants under paragraph (1) a total of $20,000,000 for fiscal years 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1997.

(c) WITHHOLDING STATE FUNDS- Effective 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General may reduce, by up to 10 percent, the allocation to a State for a fiscal year under title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 that is not in compliance with the requirements of this Act.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this Act-- (1) the term `authorized agency' means a division or office of a State designated by a State to report, receive, or disseminate information under this Act;

(2) the term `child' means a person who is a child for purposes of the criminal child abuse law of a State;

(3) the term `child abuse crime' means a crime committed under any law of a State that involves the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, negligent treatment, or maltreatment of a child by any person;

(4) the term `child abuse crime information' means the following facts concerning a person who has been arrested for, or has been convicted of, a child abuse crime: full name, race, sex, date of birth, height, weight, fingerprints, a brief description of the child abuse crime or offenses for which the person has been arrested or has been convicted, the disposition of the charge, and any other information that the Attorney General determines may be useful in identifying persons arrested for, or convicted of, a child abuse crime;

(5) the term `child care' means the provision of care, treatment, education, training, instruction, supervision, or recreation to children by persons having unsupervised access to a child;

(6) the term `national criminal history background check system' means the criminal history record system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on fingerprint identification or any other method of positive identification;

(7) the term `provider' means--

(A) a person who-- (i) is employed by or volunteers with a qualified entity; (ii) who owns or operates a qualified entity; or (iii) who has or may have unsupervised access to a child to whom the qualified entity provides child care; and (B) a person who--

(i) seeks to be employed by or volunteer with a qualified entity; (ii) seeks to own or operate a qualified entity; or (iii) seeks to have or may have unsupervised access to a child to whom the qualified entity provides child care; (8) the term `qualified entity' means a business or organization, whether public, private, for-profit, not-for-profit, or voluntary, that provides child care or child care placement services, including a business or organization that licenses or certifies others to provide child care or child care placement services; and

(9) the term `State' means a State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Trust Territories of the Pacific. Speaker of the House of Representatives. Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.:
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