In the United States child maltreatment fatalities (CMFs) do not usually meet the standard for manslaughter or murder, resulting in convictions of lesser crimes and little jail time. This exploratory study examined the charges brought against suspected CMF perpetrators in 2017. Univariate and bivariate analyses were conducted using data obtained from the Nexis Uni newspaper database, that has over 40,000 high quality media sources, for the year 2017. We found that the most frequently used charges were endangering the welfare of a child and murder, the former of which was more related to neglect-deaths and the latter to physical abuse-deaths. There was no difference between charges for male and female perpetrators. Practical implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.
- child homicide
- child maltreatment
- child maltreatment fatalities
- criminal charges