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Introduction.

Background

On April 23, 1990, Congress passed the Hate Crime Statistics Act. This law required the Attorney General to collect data "about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity." The Attorney General delegated the responsibilities of developing the procedures for implementing, collecting, and managing hate crime data to the Director of the FBI, who in turn assigned the tasks to the UCR Program. Under the direction of the Attorney General and with the cooperation and assistance of many local and state law enforcement agencies, the UCR Program created a hate crime data collection system to comply with the congressional mandate. The UCR Program's first publication on the subject was Hate Crime Statistics, 1990: A Resource Book, which was a compilation of hate crime data reported by 11 states that had collected them under state authority in 1990 and were willing to offer their data as a prototype. The UCR Program continued to work with agencies familiar with investigating hate crimes and collecting related information so that it could develop and implement a more uniform method of data collection on a nationwide scale. Hate Crime Statistics, 1992, presented the first data reported by law enforcement agencies across the country that participated in UCR hate crime data collection.

Lawmakers amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include bias against persons with disabilities by passing the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 in September of that year. The FBI started gathering data for the additional bias type on January 1, 1997. Finally, the Church Arson Prevention Act, which was signed into law in July 1996, removed the sunset clause from the original statute and mandated that hate crime data collection become a permanent part of the UCR Program. (Appendix I provides the referenced legislation as amended.)

Collection Design

The designers of the national hate crime data collection program sought to capture information about the types of bias that motivate crimes, the nature of the offenses, and some information about the victims and offenders. In creating the program, the designers recognized that hate crimes are not separate, distinct crimes; instead, they are traditional offenses motivated by the offender's bias. (For example, an offender assaults a victim because he is biased against the victim's race.) After much consideration, the developers agreed that hate crime data could be derived by capturing the additional element of bias in those offenses already being reported to the UCR Program. Attaching the collection of hate crime statistics to the established UCR data collection procedures, they concluded, would fulfill the directives of the Hate Crime Statistics Act without placing an undue additional reporting burden on law enforcement and, in time, would develop a substantial body of data about the nature and frequency of bias crimes occurring throughout the Nation.

Participation

Law enforcement's support and participation have been the most vital factors in moving the hate crime data collection effort from concept to reality. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Sheriffs' Association, the former UCR Data Providers Advisory Policy Board (which is now part of the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board), the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, and the Association of State UCR Programs all have endorsed the UCR Program's hate crime program. In addition to this support, thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide make a crucial contribution to the national Program's success because it is the officers within these agencies who investigate offenses, determine whether a hate crime was committed, and report the offense as a known hate crime.

In 2003, more than 17,000 city, county, and state law enforcement agencies reported crime data to the national UCR Program via Summary reporting or the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Of that total, 11,909 law enforcement agencies voluntarily submitted data to the hate crime program either through state UCR Programs or directly (agencies in non-Program states). (Appendix B of this publication provides a directory of state UCR Programs.) Those agencies that participated in the hate crime data collection program represented nearly 241 million inhabitants, or 82.8 percent, of the Nation's population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. The table on the following page presents the number of agencies participating in UCR and hate crime reporting by population group and the population covered collectively by those agencies within each group.
Number of Participating Agencies and Population Covered by
Population Group, 2003

 Agencies participating in
 Uniform Crime Reporting

 Number of
 participating Population
Population group agencies covered

Total 17,381 290,809,777
Group I (Cities 250,000 and over) 71 53,436,860
Group II (Cities 100,000 - 249,999) 176 26,238,733
Group III (Cities 50,000 - 99,999) 431 29,641,812
Group IV (Cities 25,000 - 49,999) 823 28,480,363
Group V (Cities 10,000 - 24,999) 1,873 29,615,324
Group VI (1) (Cities under 10,000) 8,773 26,149,056
Metropolitan Counties (1) 2,161 66,965,001
Nonmetropolitan Counties (1) 3,070 30,282,628

 Agencies participating in
 UCR hate crime reporting

 Number of
 participating Population
Population group agencies covered

Total 11,909 240,906,049
Group I (Cities 250,000 and over) 67 50,552,281
Group II (Cities 100,000 - 249,999) 149 22,335,406
Group III (Cities 50,000 - 99,999) 367 25,402,789
Group IV (Cities 25,000 - 49,999) 676 23,485,936
Group V (Cities 10,000 - 24,999) 1,455 22,979,685
Group VI (1) (Cities under 10,000) 5,787 18,316,627
Metropolitan Counties (1) 1,353 55,800,063
Nonmetropolitan Counties (1) 2,055 22,033,262

(1) Includes universities and colleges, state police agencies,
and/or other agencies to which no population is attributed.
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Title Annotation:Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990
Publication:Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Words:972
Previous Article:Foreword.
Next Article:Methodology.
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