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NCJ Number: 201078 Find in a Library
Title: Hate Crimes in Pennsylvania, 1984-99: Case Characteristics and Police Responses
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:June 2003  Pages:373-398
Author(s): Mindy S. Wilson; R. Barry Ruback
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to determine factors related to the occurrence and processing of hate crimes, this study examined 2,031 hate-crime incidents reported to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) from 1984 to 1998.
Abstract: The dataset covers a broad range of activities, including noncriminal as well as criminal incidents. For each incident, the PHRC attempts to identify factors about the victim, the offender, and the location involved. A brief description of the incident is also included in the data, along with the organizations or agencies that were involved in the response to the incident. The findings indicate that the frequency and severity of hate incidents, as well as police involvement in the response to hate crimes, was related to individual-level and community-level influences. Overall, consistent with the study hypothesis, hate offenses tended to be relatively minor acts. In both rural and urban counties, the most commonly reported incidents involved noncriminal behavior and minor property offenses. The findings also indicated that the type of victim involved was related to the severity of the incident. Anti-Semitic offenses, for example, were most likely to be low-level property crimes; in contrast, antiracial incidents, including anti-White offenses and mutual exchanges between Blacks and Whites, tended to involve more violent, personal crimes. Offenses against gay victims were more likely to occur in rural than in urban counties, and urban counties were more likely to experience anti-Asian offenses and offenses against multiple groups. The police were more likely to be involved in responding to the severe offenses. Police were also more likely to become involved in hate incidents in counties with large Jewish populations, but were less likely to become involved in incidents in counties with substantial Black populations. The fact that the relationship between event characteristics and police involvement was moderated by the composition of a county's population suggests that other community-level variables may also affect victims' reporting and police response. 5 tables and 22 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Hate Crimes; Offense classification; Offense statistics; Pennsylvania; Police resource allocation
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