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NCJ Number: 228425 Find in a Library
Title: Stalking Policies and Research in the United States: A Twenty Year Retrospective
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:2009  Pages:261-278
Author(s): Patricia G. Tjaden
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 18
Type: Historical Overview; Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study provides a 20-year retrospective on stalking policies and research in the United States.
Abstract: Since California passed the first stalking law in the United States in 1990, much has been done across the Nation to increase public understanding and countermeasures for this serious crime. All States and the District of Columbia have laws that criminalize stalking. The U.S. Congress enacted a law that makes it illegal to stalk a person across State, Federal, and international boundaries. The Congress also approved a model stalking code for States that has proven effective and constitutional. In addition, Congress established January as National Stalking Awareness Month. The National Center for Victims of Crime created the Stalking Resource Center for the purpose of raising public awareness of stalking and to encourage the development and implementation of multidisciplinary responses to stalking in local communities. A significant expansion of stalking research has occurred over the past 20 years, including two national surveys on stalking victimization and a study on the implementation of stalking laws nationwide. Despite the progress made in improving public awareness, education, laws, and research on stalking over the last 20 years in America, however, there are significant deficiencies and gaps in stalking policies and research. Stalking laws vary widely from State to State regarding outlawed behaviors and penalties allowed and imposed. Reliable information on many aspects of stalking is not available, due to research gaps, variable findings, and problematic research methodologies. Among the recommendations offered in this article are for more effective implementation of existing stalking laws, greater efforts to improve coordination of stalking laws with other related laws, specialized training on stalking for police and prosecutors, and the inclusion of stalking in the Nation’s two official crime-measurement systems. 58 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Anti-stalking laws; Research uses in policymaking; Stalkers; Stalking; United States of America
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