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Hate Crime

"In many cases, hate may be seen or perceived by the victims, their families, witnesses, and even law enforcement to be the motivation for a crime, but perpetrators may not be charged with a hate crime for a variety of reasons -- many of the same reasons that the debate on hate-crime laws continues in this country" (Hate Crime in America: The Debate Continues, National Institute of Justice, 2007).


Crimes of hatred and prejudice - from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues - are a sad fact of American history, but the term "hate crime" did not enter the nation's vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. (Hate Crimes, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Retrieved September 2014).

Hate crime activities are being investigated at the Federal level by the FBI's Bias Crimes Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arson and explosives experts. ATF investigations also focus on regulating the illegal sale and possessions of firearms to potential perpetrators of hate crimes. Programs have been developed to bring communities together to fight hate crimes through mediation, dialogue and discussion, and innovative strategies to introduce and educate youth on attitudes and behavior.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) currently sponsor or have sponsored grantee agencies to develop programs and provide training seminars and technical assistance to individuals and local agencies regarding hate crimes.

  • OVC works to improve the justice system's response to victims of hate crimes.
  • OJJDP funds agencies to develop training for professionals and to address hate crimes through preventative measures and community resources.
  • BJA has a training initiative for law enforcement agencies to generate awareness and to help in identifying, investigating, and taking appropriate action for bias crimes, as well as arming agencies with tools for responding effectively to incidents.

This topical resource on Hate Crime contains the following information:

Facts and Figures – Includes the latest information and statistics.
Legislation – A sample of links to online Federal and State legislation and testimony.
Publications – A sample of available resources.
Programs – Examples of State and local programs and initiatives available online.
Training and Technical Assistance – A sample of training and technical assistance opportunities available through nationally recognized agencies and associations.
Grants and Funding – Links to Federal funding opportunities.
Related Resources – Examples of nationally recognized agencies and organizations that provide services or information.

Links from the NCJRS Web site to non-Federal sites do not constitute an endorsement by NCJRS or its sponsors. NCJRS is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of any off-site pages that are referenced, nor does NCJRS guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information. NCJRS is also not responsible for the use of, or results obtained from the use of, the information. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from non-Federal sites.