1997-98 Academy Text Supplement

Chapter 21-1

Hate and Bias Crimes

Statistical Overview

Update on Hate and Bias Crime Projects

In spite of federal and state laws that have been enacted, there is still confusion over the definition of hate and bias crime victims. The definition of hate and bias crime in the Federal Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990 should provide direction to the field on what constitutes hate and bias crimes:

National Bias Crimes Training for Law Enforcement and Victim Assistance Professionals (Instructor) [NCJ-155130]

(Participant) [NCJ-155179]

Governmental and Policy Developments

Addressing Hate and Bias Crime

In March of 1997 the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) released a national report entitled A Policymaker's Guide to Hate Crimes. The report was in response to a request from Attorney General Janet Reno to conduct an assessment of laws and strategies designed to fight, gauge, and prevent bias-motivated offenses. Several important initiatives addressing hate and bias crimes are addressed in the report. The monograph examines the significant strides made by the federal government in creating a baseline of raw data on hate crimes and the problems that impede the reporting of hate crime incidents. In addition, the report summarizes current state laws and U.S. Supreme Court decisions regarding hate crimes. Initiatives that have been undertaken in the private sector, such as by civil rights groups, are also highlighted. Finally, the report discusses preventive measures and strategies for dealing with hate crime offenders that have been undertaken in some communities across the nation. (Bureau of Justice Assistance. (1997, March). "A Policymaker's Guide to Hate Crimes," NCJ-162304. Monograph. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.)

A summary of public policy responses to hate and bias crime was presented in the report. Legislative and public policy initiatives on the federal, state, and local levels between 1992-1997 are summarized below. According to BJA:

The report also summarized important initiatives that have been undertaken on the federal level. Congress and the U.S. Department of Justice have taken major steps towards combating hate crimes. For example:

The U.S. Department of Education has also supported key initiatives in response to hate and bias crimes. For example:

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