Legal Information: U.S. Virgin Islands

Statutes: Virgin Islands, U.S.

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Updated: 
December 28, 2021

504. Child neglect

(a) Any person who is responsible for the safety or welfare of a child, including, but not limited to, a child’s parent, stepparent, guardian, schoolteacher, or baby sitter, who neglects a child, or who knowingly, recklessly or negligently causes or allows a child to suffer physical, mental or emotional injury, or who knowingly, recklessly or negligently deprives a child of any of the basic necessities of life, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500, or by imprisonment of not more than 15 years, or both.

(b) In addition to a term of imprisonment or fine, a court shall require the person to attend counseling in accordance with any terms and conditions as the court may specify. Counseling mandated under this subsection must include abuse and assault intervention programs. In addition, if the convicted person is the parent of the affected child, the convicted person shall also attend parenting classes.

(c) If the convicted person fails to begin the classes or programs mandated by this section within twelve months after the court’s order the court shall order the convicted person to:

(1) serve a prison term of no less than 12 months and pay a fine of no less than $4,000 for a first-time offender of child neglect; or

(2) serve a prison term of no less than two years and pay a fine of no less than $6,000 for repeat offender of child neglect.

(d) Failure to complete classes or programs mandated pursuant to this section shall result in court-mandated community service of no less than 300 hours.

(e) All professionals who provide court-mandated counseling, social work, psychological, or psychiatric services must have all the appropriate, valid licenses and credentials.

(f) All persons who provide court-mandated services in the form of counseling, social work, or parenting classes provided by community-based organizations must have all the appropriate, valid credentials.

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