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January 30, 2013 0

New FBI Hate Crime Training Manual Published

The FBI has pub­lished an excel­lent new hate crime train­ing man­ual – the sin­gle best, most inclu­sive hate crime guide now available.

The enact­ment of the Matthew Shep­ard James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Pre­ven­tion Act (HCPA) in 2009 prompted the need to revise and update the Bureau’s pre­vi­ous online FBI hate crime data col­lec­tion guid­ance, since the HCPA included the new require­ment that the Bureau col­lect data on hate crimes directed against indi­vid­u­als on the basis of their gen­der or gen­der iden­tity – and crimes com­mit­ted by and against juveniles.

The new 64-page FBI guide, Hate Crime Data Col­lec­tion Guide­lines and Train­ing Man­ual, con­tains updated def­i­n­i­tions and a num­ber of hate crime train­ing sce­nar­ios, includ­ing ones designed to help law enforce­ment offi­cials under­stand gender-based and gen­der identity-based hate crimes.   

The FBI has been track­ing and doc­u­ment­ing hate crimes reported from fed­eral, state, and local law enforce­ment offi­cials, since 1991 under the Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act of 1990 (HCSA). Though clearly incom­plete, the Bureau’s annual HCSA reports pro­vide the best sin­gle national snap­shot of bias-motivated crim­i­nal activ­ity in the United States. The Act has also proven to be a pow­er­ful mech­a­nism to con­front vio­lent big­otry, increas­ing pub­lic aware­ness of the prob­lem and spark­ing improve­ments in the local response of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to hate vio­lence – since in order to effec­tively report hate crimes, police offi­cials must be trained to iden­tify and respond to them.

The FBI’s 2011 Hate Crime Sta­tis­tics Act report, showed a wel­come decline in the over­all num­ber of hate crimes in the United States, but sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns remain, as high­lighted in the ADL analy­sis of the report.

Since the tragic mur­der of six Sikh wor­ship­pers at their Gur­d­wara in Oak Creek, Wis­con­sin on August 5, the League has been work­ing with a broad coali­tion of civil rights, reli­gious, and law enforce­ment orga­ni­za­tions to expand the HCSA cat­e­gories to include hate crimes directed against Sikhs, Hin­dus, and Arabs.  ADL also sent a let­ter to Attor­ney Gen­eral Eric H. Holder, Jr. urg­ing him to sup­port these addi­tional cat­e­gories.  Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cials are sup­port­ing this new data col­lec­tion man­date, as well

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