Examination of the Implementation of Anti-Title: Stalking Legislation in the 50 States

Neal Miller, Institute for Law and Justice

This NIJ-funded three year study included a review of state anti-stalking legislation, including related issues such as harassment and terroristic threats; court rulings on these laws; survey of law enforcement and prosecutor offices to identify jurisdictions with innovative anti-stalking activities, including special units, training, and pollicies for handling stalking cases; survey of state STOP offices to identify federally funded anti-stalking projects; site visits to agencies with anti-stalking units; and review of practices and training materials to develop a "best practices" guide for practitioners and evaluators. The study found that (1) staliing is much more common than previously supposed (2 to 6 million cases annually) and often has serious consequences for its victims; (2) state anti-stalking laws need amendment; (3) implementation of anti-stalking laws has not been a priority for most agencies, and (4) where special efforts have been made, they have been highly successful. The implications of the study findings for lawmakers, practitioners, and researchers are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006