Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $182,738)
Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. (AHP) plan to explore the impact of identifying and charging for the crime of stalking in the state of Rhode Island on offender accountability as measured by successful prosecution as well as victim safety, as measured by re-arrest for domestic violence within two years. Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. will use a multi-methods approach that includes secondary data analysis of a mandated law enforcement reporting system as well as court based data regarding prosecution and qualitative interviews with select Rhode Island law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense lawyers and court advocates for a more complete understanding of the factors influencing the criminal justice response to stalking. The researcher plans to explore answers to the question, 'Does identifying the crime of stalking have an effect on prosecution outcomes, as well as longer terms outcomes in regard to subsequent arrests for domestic violence?'
A sample of 1297 incident and arrest reports where citations have been made by police for threats and harassment between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2005 will be reviewed to extract those cases where stalking charges should have been brought against the suspects. These extracted cases will be compared with 140 cases during the same period where the suspects were actually cited for stalking. Comparisons will be made on a variety of characteristics, with the end result being the development of a more complete profile of stalkers. Qualitative interviews (group) with 30 key informants from smaller cities in Rhode Island will be conducted to assess factors that may influence the criminal justice response to stalking.