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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 Uniform Crime Reporting (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 A provides the referenced legislation, as amended.)

Collection Design

The designers of the 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 of a bias 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 crucial contributions to the Program's success because the officers within these agencies investigate offenses, determine whether a hate crime was committed, and report the offense as a known hate crime.

In 2004, more than 17,000 city, county, tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies participated in the national UCR Program; some agencies reported crime data via Summary reporting and others reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Of all participating agencies, 12,711 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 over 254 million inhabitants, or 86.6 percent of the Nation's population, and their jurisdictions covered 49 states and the District of Columbia. (See Table 12.) The table on the following page presents the number of agencies that participated in UCR and hate crime reporting in 2004 by population group and the population covered collectively by those agencies within each group.
Number of Participating Agencies and Population Covered
by Population Group, 2004

 Agencies participating in
 Uniform Crime Reporting

 Number of
 participating Population
Population group agencies covered

Total 17,499 293,655,404
Group I (Cities 250,000 and over) 71 53,606,547
Group II (Cities 100,000 - 249,999) 181 26,997,995
Group III (Cities 50,000 - 99,999) 439 30,187,431
Group IV (Cities 25,000 - 49,999) 833 28,749,035
Group V (Cities 10,000 - 24,999) 1,877 29,682,903
Group VI (1) (Cities under 10,000) 8,830 26,244,386
Metropolitan Counties (1) 2,163 67,754,791
Nonmetropolitan Counties (1) 3,105 30,432,316

 Agencies participating in
 UCR hate crime reporting

 Number of
 participating Population
Population group agencies covered

Total 12,711 254,193,439
Group I (Cities 250,000 and over) 67 50,734,423
Group II (Cities 100,000 - 249,999) 160 23,902,127
Group III (Cities 50,000 - 99,999) 396 27,366,560
Group IV (Cities 25,000 - 49,999) 714 24,746,577
Group V (Cities 10,000 - 24,999) 1,561 24,695,513
Group VI (1) (Cities under 10,000) 6,315 20,092,913
Metropolitan Counties (1) 1,357 58,800,752
Nonmetropolitan Counties (1) 2,141 23,854,574

(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
Publication:Uniform Crime Reports: Hate Crime Statistics
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:984
Previous Article:Foreword.
Next Article:Methodology.
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