Amber Alert Research Paper

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Amber Alerts As the public views child abductions, murders, and molestations as most heinous crimes, they have demanded more effective safeguards in the protection of their children. Highly publicized cases such as Elizabeth Smart, Samantha Runnion, and numerous others have led to a nationwide concern over the security of our children. A recent legislative enactment regarding child protection is the AMBER alert system. AMBER alerts have been publicized as a highly effective strategy for returning abducted children home safely. The success stories are seemingly numerous but some outside scholars have criticized its use and debated its effectiveness. The AMBER alert system is a partnership between law enforcement and mass media outlets such…show more content…
According to the U.S. Department of Justice 495 children have been recovered thanks to the AMBER alert system. In some cases eliciting information from the public is not needed. There have been cases on abductors releasing a child simply because an AMBER alert was issued. There are many different types of missing children including runaways, family member kidnappings, lost or abandoned children, and stranger abductions. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that in 1999, 797,500 children were reported missing, 203,900 were abducted by family members, and 58,200 were abducted by non-relatives, 115 were taken by strangers. In the 115 stranger abductions the children were held overnight, transported more than 50 miles, murdered, used for ransom, or were desired to be held permanently. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited children, children are most likely to be abducted going to and from school, 37 percent of attempted abductions occur between the hours of 2-7 pm, 43 percent of victims were between the ages of 10 and 14, nearly 75 percent were female, and 68 percent involve a suspect driving a…show more content…
For example criminologist Timothy Griffin analyzed hundreds of kidnappings between 2003 and 2006 and found that AMBER did not play a significant role in the return of children. AMBER alerts tended to be successful in cases with a non-custodial parent or family member was the abductor. It is impossible to determine what would have happened if no AMBER alert was issued. Thus evidence of AMBER routinely saving lives is difficult to create through research. Timothy griffin and colleague Monica Miller argue that the great praise of AMBER alerts acts as a socially constructed reality of child protection but that abductions remain intractable. In others words, they satisfy the people’s need for child protection but are not truly significant in their return. The federal highway administration has warned that placing alerts on electronic highway signs contributes to distracted driving. The California highway patrol has decided not to use highway signs during rush hour due to safety concerns. The quick and certain publicity of AMBER alerts might attract the type of abductor who desires the fame and notoriety of such a crime who might not be interested otherwise. AMBER alerts might also have an opposite of deterrence effect. Abductors may believe they must commit their crimes in a timely fashion after seeing an AMBER alert issued. False alarms are also troublesome in

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