When you were attending AIU, you thought of yourself being an undercover narcotics officer or working for a bank as a fraud investigator, but you were initially exposed to the role of a victims’ witness assistant during the Criminal Careers course at AIU. Then, your best friend became a victim of a crime of violence after being stalked for several months, and that incident changed your life. As you provided comfort and support to your friend during the judicial process, you were exposed first-hand to the role played by the victims’ witness assistant during the criminal judicial process. The role of the victims’ witness assistant changed you, and you decided then that you wanted to pursue a career as a victims’ rights advocate somewhere. It has been a year since you were able to start your career in the victims’ rights advocate position, and every day, you feel that you are making a difference in society and your jurisdiction.
The prosecutor for whom you have been working as a victims’ witness assistant has had several calls from victims of stalking. Some cases seem more serious than other cases; however, one case that no one in the office thought was serious resulted in the victim’s death. Everyone thought the couple was just going through a difficult breakup. This case had a tremendous impact on the entire office—especially you.
To help make sure that the office does not minimize a potentially dangerous situation again, the prosecutor has asked you to put together an intake, evaluation, and assessment instrument to be used in taking information on stalking situations. Be sure to check stalking statutes, and cite the elements of the crime of stalking in your documents. Complete the following:
- Create a topic paper (2–3 pages) in APA format discussing the following:
- Importance of recognizing the signs of stalking
- Criminal definition of stalking for your jurisdiction (cite a relevant stalking statute)
- Key facts that you felt all office personnel should know about stalking, such as the remedies designed to help a stalking victim
- Create an intake form in addition to the topic paper that can be used to get important information from alleged victims of stalking.
- The form should require information about the nature and frequency of stalking and should determine if the elements of the crime of stalking are present.
- The form should also ask questions that will elicit answers that help indicate what type of stalking situation exists, asking such things such as is the victim is acquainted with the suspect, and if so, how; if not, how does the victim think the suspect knows or has encountered the victim? It should ask for the frequency of the annoyance and if the victim is in fear and why. Most stalking statutes require a pattern of harassment or annoyance that would make a reasonable person afraid or seriously annoyed; the form should ask something that would capture that information. The form should indicate whether or not there is a pending divorce or other legal matters between the 2 parties.
- Create an evaluation and assessment form in addition to the topic paper based on the intake form you have created that will help rank the seriousness of the threat from the suspect who is stalking.
- The evaluation and assessment form should indicate your familiarity with the contemporary information on what constitutes the most dangerous threat to the victim and then provide a ranking accordingly.
Your forms should reflect contemporary information and the legal definition of the crime of stalking and what factors distinguish the most serious situations.