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NCJ Number: 218421 Find in a Library
Title: Stalking: Do Criminalization and Punishment Help?
Journal: Punishment & Society  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:April 2007  Pages:201-209
Author(s): Marijke Malsch
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 9
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article analyzes whether anti-stalking laws are effective in combating stalking behavior, looking particularly at 77 stalking cases tried by Dutch courts.
Abstract: The results reveal that despite criticisms of the Dutch stalking law, many stalking cases have been brought before the court and have ended in convictions. The fact that these cases reached the courts and ended in convictions indicates that the law is adequately descriptive for use in legal practice and that victims are willing to provide information about their relationship with the stalker. Moreover, the convictions indicate that sufficient evidence has been produced to prove the alleged crimes. In terms of the effectiveness of a prison term in stopping stalking behavior, the cases examined for this article were mainly ex-partner stalking cases. In these types of cases, research suggests that a prison term will often only temporarily prevent stalking. These types of stalkers along with erotomaniacs, are often impacted by serious mental disorders and are the type of offenders least likely to be stopped by a criminal prosecution and punishment. While research is still in its infancy regarding the effectiveness of stalking laws, the evidence gathered so far suggests that stalking interventions and sanctions are not producing the desired effects. On the other hand, research indicates that treatment for stalking and domestic violence types of crimes is more effective than punishment. The criminal law may be used as a way to require treatment. The research involved collecting Dutch court decisions in stalking cases and their investigation files from the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement for cases heard between 2001 and 2003. Future research on the effectiveness of anti-stalking laws should be conducted after the laws have been in force for a number of years. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Anti-stalking laws
Index Term(s): Case studies; Criminal justice system effectiveness; Netherlands
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