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NCJ Number: NCJ 197066   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Stalking Laws and Implementation Practices: A National Review for Policymakers and Practitioners
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): Neal Miller
Corporate Author: Institute for Law and Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 10/2001
Page Count: 324
  Annotation: This document discusses stalking as an important policy issue for the criminal justice system.
Abstract: Stalking is an important policy issue because it is a crime of terror that is far more common than most criminal justice professionals believe. Policy analysis of what needs to be done to improve anti-stalking investigation, prosecution, and provision of services to stalking victims is totally absent. This study analyzed stalking and related legislation in the 50 States, reviewed leading court decisions interpreting those laws, and conducted a survey of police and prosecutor agencies across the country to determine how the laws were being implemented. Also, field reviews were done in jurisdictions with innovative, special anti-stalking efforts, and study findings were integrated with the existing research literature on stalkers and their behavior. This study was designed to clarify the status of stalking laws and their implementation needs. Study results found that misperceptions of what constitutes stalking are widespread. Public awareness that stalking is a crime is lacking, and many criminal justice personnel also lack an understanding of their States’ anti-stalking laws. The likely number of stalking cases is over 2 million felony cases and 4 million misdemeanor cases annually -- far greater than previously estimated. Stalking has a devastating impact on its victims. Because these cases are very different from other personal injury crime, they require problem-solving approaches in their investigation and prosecution. Although every State recognizes that stalking is a crime distinct from other offenses, many State laws lack adequate penalties. Criminal procedure laws relating to stalking are often lacking. Shortcomings include the lack of warrantless arrest for misdemeanor stalking in most States, and the absence of required training on stalking for law enforcement and prosecution. Civil law parallels to criminal anti-stalking laws are not as widespread. Stalking laws have been the focus of considerable litigation. Implementation of the new stalking laws is still limited. Current special anti-stalking programs demonstrate the usefulness of developing staff expertise with stalking cases and provide models for other jurisdictions.
Main Term(s): Policy analysis ; Anti-stalking laws
Index Term(s): Policy ; Analysis ; Personal Security/Self Protection ; Threat assessment ; Client specific planning ; Stalkers
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 97-WT-VX-0007
Sale Source: Institute for Law and Justice
1219 Prince Street, Suite 2
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Publisher URL: 
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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