BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - Harrison and Jackson counties led the state in the number of reported child abuse cases in 2013. That's according to numbers from the state Department of Human Services.
Harrison County reported 742 cases, with Jackson County second with 551. Both ranked ahead of Hinds County, the most populous county in the state, which reported 458, and Rankin County with 461.
Those numbers reflect all law enforcement and court reports of child abuse from October 2012 to September 2013.
Cathy Barnes of the Gulfport's South Mississippi Child Abuse Prevention Center tells The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1g9RR6d ) the only correlation officials have been able to draw about why the coastal counties have such high numbers is the stress factors and economic effects of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.