Child Abuse Reporting Laws for Mississippi

State and Statute: Mississippi, Code §§ 43-21-353 et seq.

What Is Reportable "Abuse": Physical, sexual, or mental abuse, or neglect. [43-21-353]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes any minister, child care giver, private school employee, or "any other person having reasonable cause to suspect" that a child is abused. [43-21-353(1)]

How and Where to Report: Oral report by telephone to the Department of Human Services, followed by a written report as soon as possible. [43-21-353(1)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [43-21-353(1)]

Clergy Privilege: No reference.

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Fine not to exceed $5,000, or imprisonment not to exceed one year, or both. [43-21-353(7)]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in Mississippi have recognized civil liability.

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