Response to Hate Crimes
Responses to hate crime range from changes in legislation to law enforcement training aimed at improving responses to these
crimes; to investigation, prosecution, and prevention of hate crimes; to victim support programs; to diversity and tolerance
education programs. Most States and metropolitan areas have some form of government-sponsored hate crime initiative involving criminal justice
agencies. Municipal police departments in many large urban areas have hate crime units within their department, and police
departments are often involved as members of State or regional hate crime task forces.
The Federal Government has also supported several initiatives to address hate crime. The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA),
for example, has provided funding for the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence at the University of Southern Maine to
produce a series of reports on BJA-supported initiatives and State and local demonstration projects. Many recommendations
and "best practice" suggestions for how to effectively address, prevent, and respond to hate crime have emerged over the past
15 years. Although these recommendations are derived from practical experience and expert opinion and appear well-conceived,
none of the myriad criminal justice responses has been subjected to rigorous empirical evaluation.
Date Modified: December 22, 2010