Department of Corrections Aids in Search for Missing Children

The South Carolina Department of Corrections is joining hands with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to solve missing children cases.  This effort will reach a heretofore untapped resource, the inmate population.  The initial emphasis will focus on current long-term missing child cases in an attempt to generate new information for investigation.

"It is important for individuals to realize that behind every face of a missing child is a family searching for answers," states Margaret Frierson, Executive Director of the National Center's South Carolina Branch.  "We are hopeful that this initiative will provide the necessary information to help us locate these missing children, and to bring closure for these families.  The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is grateful to the South Carolina Department of Corrections for its commitment to finding South Carolina's  missing children."

The Department of Corrections will utilize the Impact of Crime Program to reach the inmates.  One entire class that focuses on the plight of the families of missing children will be devoted to the missing children project.  Both course work and videos that spotlight the missing children and show interviews with parents of these children are being developed.  "The Department of Corrections is wholeheartedly supporting this effort in an attempt to bring some resolution to these unsolved cases," Director Catoe explains.  "The agency has seen great benefit thus far from the Impact of Crime Program, and we are hopeful that inmates having some knowledge of the whereabouts of these children will come forward."

The Impact of Crime Program covers twelve crime areas.  Child Maltreatment is one of the crime areas.  "The Impact of Crime Program is improved when we can localize a segment of the curriculum.  The tragedy of the crime has more impact when we see the faces and know the stories,"  said Barbara Grissom, Director of Victim Services for the Department of Corrections.

In addition to the Impact of Crime Program, posters are being developed showing the targeted cases.  The photographs of the children will show their appearance when they disappeared and an age progression photograph to depict what their appearance would be today.  These posters will be displayed in the living areas in each of the Department of Corrections institutions.

You are encouraged to visit the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children web site to view pictures and information about missing children at   Anyone having information that might assist authorities in solving these cases is encouraged to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678, or their local law enforcement.