Saturday, May 03, 2008

5/3/08 Campaign for the Missing News: Florida Passes!

Project Jason is pleased to announce the passage of the Jennifer Kesse and Tiffany Sessions Missing Persons Act in the state of Florida. It was passed yesterday, and now awaits the governor's signature. It is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2008.

Congratulations to Drew and Joyce Kesse, Jennifer's parents, and all who helped pass this bill, a part of Project Jason's Campaign for the Missing.

Other states passed by Campaign for the Missing volunteers include CT, IN, NJ, and OR.

Here are some highlights of the bill.

Basic Summary:

An act relating to missing persons; amending s. 937.021, F.S.; requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies and procedures to be used when investigating missing person reports; requiring law enforcement agencies to submit information to specified databases; providing immunity from civil liability for certain persons involving such reports; requiring that a law enforcement agency obtain a DNA sample after a person has been missing more than 90 days; requiring the Department of Law Enforcement to adopt rules; amending s. 937.022, F.S.;renaming the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse the "Missing Children and Persons Information Clearinghouse"; requiring the clearinghouse to collect and process information regarding missing children, missing persons younger than 26 years of age, and missing persons suspected by a law enforcement agency of being in danger or a victim of criminal activity; providing definitions; providing an effective date.


LE (Law Enforcement) must have written procedures regarding the proper investigation of cases, use of available resources, and monthy review of cases.

Missing persons must be entered into the NCIC and the FL CIC databases within 2 hours.

When a person has been missing for 90 days, DNA may be obtained from the person's belongings or the appropriate biological family members. LE can obtain DNA before the 90 days if need be.

The state clearinghouse shall now also include information about missing persons through age 25, and any missing person LE considered to be engandered or a victim of criminal activity. LE is required to report information about these cases to the state clearinghouse.

FL LE shall establish a means to communicate case information about the case types as noted above.

LE is encouraged to transmit information about the above missing person case types to media and other interested parties who may be on the same distribution list as those on the Amber Alert list. Any person on this list who complies with the request cannot be held liable for any damages in complying with the request to disseminate this information.

(The last point and second point above are the ones which seems to confuse some media into thinking the bill extends the age of Amber Alerts and/or causes an alert to be issued in all cases. As you can see, it does not.)

Thanks again to the families of the missing, such as Jennifer's family, who are willing to step outside of the circle of their own pain, and work to help increase the odds that even just one more family will be reunitied with their missing loved one.

There is always hope.

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,Project Jason
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5/3/08 BBC World Radio Interview on Hope and Going On

Dear Family Members and Friends,

You might be interested in listening to this "World, Have Your Say" interview with families of the missing from all over the world who talk about hope, and giving up or going on. The show's title is "When is it time to say goodbye?" and was broadcast live yesterday afternoon on BBC World Radio as well as the Sirius and XM satellite radio networks.

The show's host, Peter Dobbie, posed thought provoking questions on the one year anniversary of Madeline McCann's disappearance:

"But when does the time come to move on? Does there come a point when the family of someone who’s missing must accept what’s happened ? Can a family survive the kind of emotional stress that must be involved in losing someone, without saying goodbye. Do they have to assume that the person has died, to safeguard their own emotional wellbeing ? The McCanns have now attained a kind of celebrity, for them, and indeed for anyone else who’s lost a relative, is that celebrity worth it, if it keeps hope alive ? Or, at what time, does hope die, and become something else ? Once we accept that there is no hope, is that when we begin to find comfort ?"

Guests on the show included several family members of international missing person's cases, Project Jason's Kelly Jolkowski, and the President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ernie Allen.

You can read more about the show here:

Listen to the show here:

With Hope, Always,

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,Project Jason
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