is defined as "the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and
intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion,
sexual orientation, or disability." (Community Relations Service, 2001)
These crimes have been plaguing our country for centuries, tearing at the
very foundation of our country and destroying our neighborhoods and communities.
"A total of 11,987 law enforcement agencies in 49 states and the District
of Columbia reported 9,730 bias-motivated incidents - 9,271 single bias and
9 multiple bias" (Hate Crime Statistics, 2001)
Since an individual's biases are incidental circumstances to a particular
crime, collecting statistics and information on hate crimes is difficult.
Over the past 12 years, Congress has passed many pieces of legislation to
help shape the future of hate crime initiatives and preventative measures.
These anti-hate crime legislated acts include the
Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 1999
Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996
Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act
Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990
Hate crime activities are being investigated
at the Federal level by the FBI’s Bias Crimes Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) church arson and explosives experts. BATF investigations
also focus on regulating the illegal sale and possessions of firearms to potential
perpetrators of hate crimes. Programs are also being 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
In order to understand the scope of the hate crime problem, the Justice
Department was mandated, with the passage of the Hate Crime Statistics Act
of 1990, to collect statistics and gather information on the prevalence of
these bias-motivated crimes:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s
Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) is the only national data collection
program. As part of the UCR Program, the FBI publishes hate crime statistics
in their annual publication, Hate Crime Statistics, 2001.
As part of the Attorney General’s Hate
Crime initiative, the Bureau of Justice Statistics has examined ways to improve
participation by law enforcement agencies in collecting and reporting hate
crime statistics to the FBI and to profile local responses to hate crime.
The findings will assist the Federal government in identifying the accuracy
of hate crime statistics and reporting practices, produce trend data and developing
a model for hate crime reporting.
In addition to collecting statistics,
several agencies are funding researchers to conduct studies on hate crimes.
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC),
the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Office of Juvenile Justice
and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) all sponsor and fund grantee agencies to
develop programs, and to provide training seminars and technical assistance
to individuals and local agencies regarding hate crimes.
OVC is working to improve the justice
system’s response to victims of hate crime
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.
The latest in hate crime
statistics and facts.
Of the 9,721 single-bias incidents,
44.9 percent were motivated by racial prejudice, 21.6 percent were driven
by a bias toward an ethnicity/national origin, 18.8 percent motivated by religious
intolerance, 14.3 percent by sexual-orientation bias, and 0.4 percent by
disability bias. (Hate Crime
"During 2001, 4,367 of the single-bias incidents were victims
of racial bias, 1,828 were victims of religious bias, 1,393 were victims
of sexual-orientation bias, 2,098 were victims of ethnic or national origin
bias, and 35 were victims of disability bias."
(Hate Crime Statistics, 2001).
Criminal incidents can involve more than one offense, victim,
and/or offender. In 2001, there were 9,730 bias-motivated incidents, 12,020
victims, and 9,239 known offenders. A breakdown of the 12,020 victims shows
that 64.6 percent were crimes against persons and 34.7 percent were victims
of crime against property.
(Hate Crime Statistics, 2001).
"In 2001, law enforcement agencies reported a total of 9,239
known offenders associated with 9,730 bias-motivated incidents (9 incidents
were multiple-bias). Of these known offenders, 65.5 percent were white, 20.4
percent were black, 0.9 percent were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 0.6 percent
were American Indian/Alaskan Native." (Hate Crime Statistics, 2001).
"Residences and homes were the scenes of 30.9 percent of the
total 9,730 hate crime incidents in 2001. Incidents perpetrated on highways,
roads, alleys, or streets accounted for 18.3 percent of hate crime incidents,
and 10.1 percent occurred at schools or colleges." (Hate Crime Statistics, 2001).
Twenty-three percent of college campuses with 2,500 enrolled
students had a special hate crime program or unit operated
by campus law enforcement agencies.
Law Enforcement Agencies, 1995).
From 1997 - 1999, sixty-one percent of hate crime incidents
were motivated by race, 14 percent by religion, 13 percent by sexual
orientation, 11 percent by ethnicity, and 1 percent by victim disability.
The majority of incidents motivated by race, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
or disability involved a violent offense, while two-thirds of incidents
motivated by religion involved a property offense, most commonly vandalism.
( Hate Crime
Reported in NIBRS, 1997-99).
From 1997 - 1999, younger offenders were responsible for most
hate crimes. Thirty-one percent of violent offenders and 46 percent
of property offenders were under age 18. ( Hate Crime Reported
in NIBRS, 1997-99).
Among the reports analyzed, five States reported incident-based
statistics in the form of hate-bias crimes in their annual
reports. These incidents were usually classified by motivation
for hate-bias which includes race, ethnicity, sexual orientation,
religion, and disability (State
Use of Incident-Based Crime Statistics).