Still in the shadows: The unresponsiveness of stalking prosecution rates to increased legislative attention.

Bouffard, L.A., Bouffard, J.A., Nobles, M.R., & Askew, L. (2021).
Journal of Criminal Justice, 2 – 10.
Type of Profession:

This study used court data to examine trends in stalking cases following two major revisions of Texas anti-stalking statutes. Results demonstrate stalking remains rarely prosecuted despite increasing awareness and provisions for enhanced penalties under law.

Expanded Abstract: 

In 1990, California became the first state to implement anti-stalking legislation. Kentucky passed a similar bill in 1992. Statutes specifically prohibited following, harassment, or communication of threats to an individual. Since California’s initial implementation, all 50 states, American territories, and the federal government have enacted their own statutes to address and prohibit stalking (Brady & Nobles, 2017; Miller, 2001). Among a growing body of literature addressing stalking response, reporting, and characteristics, gaps exist when examining state response. Specifically, state legislative bodies have attempted to refine and improve anti-stalking laws, however the extent to which such legislative changes can have meaningful impacts on the underlying rates of stalking in the community has yet to be determined. In the current study, researchers describe the development of stalking legislation and research on stalking, with specific attention to definitional and legal complexities of this particular type of crime.