Gov. Jay Inslee will sign the “Jennifer Paulson Stalking Protection Order Act” in Tacoma on Saturday at Birney Elementary School. All are welcome to attend.
When this bill becomes effective, it will separate stalking from anti-harassment orders; therefore, the criminal justice system hopefully will place the same importance all the state legislators did on protecting the stranger-stalked. This may require extra effort on the “systems” part to learn about and know the perpetrator in order to protect the victim. This act provides for longer jail terms, real-time GPS monitoring, mental health evaluations and immediate arrest upon violation; it gives the tools the system needs. Now, the criminal justice system needs to use the tools.
A big thank you goes to Rep. Roger Goodman and Sen. Steve Conway for sponsoring the bill. This bill came out of an attorney general working group in 2011. Thank you all in the working group and former Attorney General Rob McKenna. Another thank you for the wording tweaks this last year by Deputy Prosecutor David Martin from King County.
Many others may remain out of the public eye but played a part. Thank you to all.
( Editor’s note: Ken Paulson is the father of Jennifer Paulson, who was murdered by a stalker in 2010.)