Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $357,860)
Online child pornography cases in Broward County brought for prosecution have more than double since 2017. The 17th Judicial Circuit in Broward County (SAO17) has seen the exponential growth in this type of crime. The purpose of the proposed project is to improve the effectiveness of SAO17 to address the growing number of child pornography incidents in the County. The project proposes to combat cyber child pornography by enhancing internal and external capacity. The internal capacity will be enhanced by supporting the specialized Cybercrime Unit with personnel and technology. The activities include hiring an experience investigator and a legal assistant, and purchasing much-needed technology to improve the ability to work more efficiently and increase the number of cyber child pornography cases brought to trial or other resolutions. The external capacity will be enhanced by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with key stakeholders. The activities include increasing collaboration with Local Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs), community agencies, and local schools. Additionally, the project seeks to increase public trust in the criminal justice system by members of marginalized communities by reaching out to the large minority population in the County by working with community agencies to create outreach events. There will also be an emphasis on improving policies, processes, and procedures to improve effectiveness in handling child pornography cases by working with LEAs and SAO17 administrators.