Stalking: An Examination of the Criminal Justice Response


Stalking is documented, but insufficient attention has been given to case disposition and how prior criminal and protective order histories influence the processing of stalking cases by the court. This study used secondary case analyses to examine the incarceration and prior offense histories of 346 men charged with stalking, the temporal relationship between prior offenses and the stalking offense, and the interplay between criminal/protective order histories and the final disposition of stalking cases. Study results show significant incarceration and criminal histories among stalkers and a frequent use of protective orders in these cases. High dismissal rates of stalking offenses were found, but for charges not dismissed, a relatively high conviction rate was found. Finally, repeat criminal activity within a short time of the index stalking charge was common. Implications and areas for future research are discussed.

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Published in Journal of Interpersonal Violence, v. 18, no. 2, p. 148-165.

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