Are Stalkers Recidivists? Repeated Offending by Convicted Stalkers

Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Violence and Victims (Impact Factor: 1.28). 02/2011; 26(1):3-15. DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.26.1.3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Stalking is an obsessive behavior. Legal definitions generally characterize stalking as repetitive conduct. It may therefore be expected that recidivism by stalkers is high. We investigated court statistics of stalking cases to establish which proportion relapses in stalking behavior after a conviction and what other types of new crimes they commit. Case files of stalking cases have been investigated to find out whether and which neutralization techniques are used by stalkers to justify harassing behaviors. Stalkers who do recidivate do so quickly after a conviction. They appear to make use of various neutralization techniques. There is a small group of highly obsessive stalkers that seems not to be stopped by any of the measures, sanctions, or interventions that are imposed.

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    ABSTRACT: Objective:Individuals who stalk strangers and acquaintances are under-studied, although there is some evidence suggesting a greater prevalence of psychopathology than is present in those who stalk former partners. This study investigated the nature and prevalence of psychopathology in a sample of stranger and acquaintance stalkers and whether psychopathology was associated with increased duration or serial stalking in this group. It was hypothesised that mental illness, and specifically psychosis, would be more prevalent among strangers and acquaintances than among ex-intimate stalkers.Method:Two hundred and eleven stalkers (10% female; mean age = 35, SD = 10.8; 71 ex-intimates) were recruited between 2002 and 2007 from a specialist service in Melbourne, Australia. Each underwent psychiatric and psychological assessment and disorders were diagnosed according to DMS-IV-TR criteria. Non-parametric independent sample tests were used to examine associations between relationship type and psychopathology, and to identify individual and stalking-related characteristics associated with increased duration and serial stalking.Results:Axis I disorders were significantly more prevalent among strangers and acquaintances than ex-intimates (71% vs 48%, OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.4 to 4.7), as were psychotic disorders (29% vs 9%, OR = 4.4, 95% CI = 1.8 to 10.9). Psychosis was significantly associated with increased duration of stalking behaviour (U = 3043, p < 0.001). Those with a personality disorder were twice as likely to have stalked multiple times (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.2 to 5.0).Conclusions:Those who stalk strangers and acquaintances are often mentally ill and psychopathology is associated with more persistent and recurrent stalking behaviour. Although limited by the use of clinical interview rather than structured assessment, these findings strongly support the argument for routine mental health assessment of stranger and acquaintance stalkers who become involved with the criminal justice system.
    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 02/2013; 47(6). DOI:10.1177/0004867413479408 · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ze spreken tot de verbeelding, figureren in talloze misdaadfilms en halen in werkelijkheid ook de voorpagina’s: mannen, soms ook vrouwen, die bij herhaling ernstige misdrijven plegen en angst zaaien in de samenleving. Dit boek gaat over serieplegers. Jack the Ripper is waarschijnlijk het bekendste voorbeeld van een seriemoordenaar, maar de geschiedenis kent vele voorbeelden van serieplegers. In dit boek komen vier typen serieplegers aan bod: moordenaars, verkrachters, brandstichters en stalkers. Er wordt ingegaan op hun achtergronden, motieven, modus operandi en slachtoffers. Omdat in Nederland tamelijk weinig onderzoeksmateriaal voorhanden is over serieplegers is de beschrijving van de typen serieplegers voornamelijk gebaseerd op buitenlandse literatuur. Naast de wetenschappelijke kennis over het fenomeen behandelt het boek de Nederlandse praktijk op het gebied van de opsporing van serieplegers. In hoeverre hebben we ermee te maken in Nederland en wat zijn de mogelijkheden en moeilijkheden om serieplegers te identificeren en op te sporen? Het boek is interessant voor de politieopleiding en de recherchepraktijk, maar ook voor onderzoekers en beleidsmakers
    Edited by Anton van Wijk & Ilse van Leiden, 05/2014; Boom.


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