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NCJ Number: 249610 Find in a Library
Title: Assessing the "Statistical Accuracy" of the National Incident-Based Reporting System Hate Crime Data
Journal: American Behavioral Scientist  Volume:59  Issue:12  Dated:November 2015  Pages:1562-1587
Author(s): J. J. Nolan; S. M. Haas; E. Turley; J. Stump; C. R. LaValle
Date Published: November 2015
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2009-BJ-CX-K034
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Evaluation; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study introduces a method for assessing hate crime classification error in a State Incident-Based Reporting System.
Abstract: The study identified and quantified the “statistical accuracy” of aggregate hate-crime data and provided insight from frontline officers about thought processes involved in classifying bias offenses. Random samples of records from two city and two county agencies provided data for the study. A systematic review of official case narratives determined hate-crime classification error using State and Federal definitions. A focus group inquired about officers’ handling of hate crimes. Undercounting of hate crimes in official data was evident. When error rates were extrapolated, National Incident-Based Reporting System Group A hate crimes were undercounted by 67 percent. Officers’ responses validated complications involved with classifying hate crimes, particularly, incidents motivated “in part” by bias. Classification errors in reporting hate crimes have an impact on the statistical accuracy of official hate crime statistics. Officers’ offense descriptions provided greater awareness of issues in accurately interpreting and classifying hate crimes. The results provide useful information for officer training, understanding the true magnitude of these crimes, and a precursor for adjusting crime statistics to better estimate the “true” number of hate crimes in the population. (Publisher abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Offense statistics
Index Term(s): BJS Grant-related Documents; BJS Resources; Data collections; Data integrity; Hate Crimes; National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
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