Hate Crime in America Policy Summit

Hate Crime in America Policy Summit

Collectively, the recommendations constitute an action agenda to advance understanding of hate crime, prevent hate crime, and improve the effectiveness of our response to this complex and challenging social problem. The agenda sets forth roles and responsibilities for a coordinated, community-wide response by citizens, schools and colleges, police, justice system agencies, social service agencies, and victims.

How Can We Prevent Hate Crime?

Investing in prejudice reduction and violence prevention is vital to reducing the incidence of hate crime. Summit participants were hopeful that communities, schools, and justice system agencies can work together to create and maintain conditions in which prejudice gives way to tolerance and bias-motivated violence is replaced with peaceful problem-solving. Summit participants recommended 18 proactive initiatives to help communities prevent bias-motivated incidents and hate crime.

Increase Public Awareness

 An informed citizenry is the cornerstone of our democratic society. Citizen involvement is essential to the success of any program to reduce prejudice and prevent bias-related crimes.

Create multidisciplinary planning processes to develop coordinated approaches to prevent and respond to hate crime. Some communities already engage in crime prevention planning processes that include representatives of business, religious institutions, advocacy groups, public and private schools and colleges, and the full spectrum of justice agencies. Every community should maintain or develop a strategic crime prevention planning process that includes a focus on hate crime, and view planning as an ongoing responsibility, not just a one-time project.

Create local Human Rights Commissions or other forums to promote community harmony and stability. All citizens should be encouraged to talk about their differences and commonalities and to share their visions of safe and healthy communities. HRCs or other organized forums can sponsor community events that bring people together to learn about and celebrate one another and provide multicultural training in many facets of community life.

Focus public attention on issues of prejudice, intolerance, and the ways that hate crime affects community vitality and safety. Community and justice system leaders, particularly police chiefs, must continue to speak out forcefully against intolerance, bigotry, and hate crime, not only in the aftermath of high-profile incidents, but at all times. Citizens must recognize that hate crimes, and even bias-motivated behaviors that are not criminal, victimize not only the targeted individuals or groups, but the entire community. Communities become victims when hate crime erodes mutual respect and civility, and undermines the citizens' sense of well-being and safety.

Develop public information to promote values of tolerance and social equality. Justice agencies, private foundations, and community groups should collaborate to develop hard-hitting, culturally relevant endorsements of the value of tolerance and understanding that can be disseminated through print and electronic means to diverse audiences.

Raise awareness of the goals and activities of organized hate groups. Hate groups are less effective in sowing seeds of social unrest and conflict when their activities (including Internet hate sites) are brought to light. Continuous monitoring of hate group activity is vital for contravening their influence on children, youth, and other groups vulnerable to their toxic diatribe. Their messages of bigotry and intolerance can be countered by community leaders, schools, and justice agencies with truthful information that promotes mutual understanding and honors diversity.

Develop national, regional, and/or state task forces to understand and counter the influence of organized hate groups. Because the influence of many organized hate groups is national or regional, strategies to counter their hate-producing efforts must also be national or regional, and be developed by broad-based coalitions of political, business, religious, community, and justice system leaders. Strategies to contain and counteract the negative influences of hate groups, while respecting their First Amendment rights, require creativity, persistence, and constant vigilance. The United States Department of Justice/United States Attorney Hate Crime Task Force Initiative can serve as a model and a vehicle for coordinated efforts.


Educate Children and Young Adults

Teaching our children to respect differences and celebrate diversity is essential to prevent development of prejudiced attitudes that can lead to hate crime. Because conflict is a fact of human life, children must also be given tools to deal with conflict constructively, to become "peacemakers."

Involve parents in efforts to prevent and intervene against bias-motivated behavior of their children. Parents should be engaged in hate crime prevention in a variety of ways, from helping to design and deliver conflict-resolution and hate crime prevention curricula, to participating in mediation and conflict resolution activities in their children's schools. Schools should consider involving parents of children expressing prejudicial beliefs or behaving in discriminatory ways in interventions to prevent the speech or behavior from escalating into more harmful criminal acts.

Foster a "zero-tolerance" atmosphere in schools and colleges. Written codes of conduct for students, teachers, and other employees should express support for peaceful conflict resolution and clearly delineate the consequences for engaging in bias-motivated behavior. Codes of conduct should be readily available to students, parents of students, faculty, and other employees.

Provide every student and teacher the opportunity to participate in hate crime prevention courses and activities. Hate crime prevention curricula can be used in general and alternative classroom settings, schools experiencing bias crime problems, with student government leaders, in after-school programs, and in teacher training. The Education Development Center, with support of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, has prepared a model curriculum for middle and high school students designed to reduce prejudice and prevent crimes based on intolerance. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice collaborated to produce a manual that provides guidance to schools and communities to develop school-based hate crime prevention programs.

Incorporate hate crime education into existing curricula. Schools and colleges should encourage faculty to incorporate hate crime education into existing curricula in subject areas such as health, geography, social studies, history, and civics. Studies in these and other areas offer many opportunities to promote tolerance and to illustrate the negative individual and societal impacts of prejudice and bigotry.

Reinforce diversity training and multicultural education at early ages. Multicultural education diminishes reliance on stereotyping, and reduces the chances of miscommunication between members of cultural groups. To develop an appreciation of similarities and differences among groups of people, children and young adults should learn about the many cultures that make up American society.

Provide conflict resolution training to all children. Children should be taught skills essential to peaceful conflict resolution, including active listening, appropriate expression of feelings, negotiation, and interruption of expressions of bias. There are model curricula and approaches appropriate for various age levels and contexts, including New York City's Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), peer mediation initiatives, the "peaceable school" approach, as well as parent-led and community-based efforts.

Intervene with students who express discriminatory beliefs before their behavior escalates. Standards for recognizing and responding appropriately to discriminatory expressions and behavior should be clearly articulated and widely disseminated to students, teachers, and parents. Faculty and other staff should be trained to identify early warning signs of risk of hate incidents and crimes. Schools and colleges should offer counseling, mentoring, and educational opportunities for all students who exhibit prejudicial beliefs and behaviors. Efforts of organized hate groups to disseminate information to students or recruit them as members should be carefully monitored.


Educate Community Groups and Leaders.


Community leaders and citizen groups should have the skills and knowledge to recognize and actively resist intolerance and hate-motivated actions in their neighborhoods and jurisdictions.

Inform vulnerable groups and individuals about ways to protect themselves from bias-motivated incidents and crime. Individuals or groups that could be a target of hate crime because of race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation should be informed about ways to prevent being victimized. Justice system and other professionals should train and counsel potential victims to help them recognize threatening situations and to provide conflict resolution and other coping skills to enable them to deal effectively with bias-motivated behaviors. Vulnerable individuals should be informed about the importance of reporting bias-related incidents and the support that is available for seeking redress of discriminatory actions. Training materials should be published in different languages to reduce language and cultural barriers to reporting.

Provide knowledge and impart skills to recognize and defuse high-risk situations. Community groups and leaders should seek training and support from a coalition of justice system agencies, teachers, social service professionals, and victim advocacy groups to identify patterns of prejudice and discrimination before they escalate into hate incidents or crimes. Coalitions should also train community leaders in techniques for defusing and addressing identified high-risk situations. Professional mediation and conflict resolution services should also be available to support the ongoing prevention efforts of community leaders and neighborhood groups. The Department of Justice Community Relations Service can provide support in this area.


Encourage Strategic Planning and Collaborative Problem-Solving.


Ongoing collaboration of citizens, elected officials, and public employees to develop strategic hate crime prevention enhances chances for success. Citizens who participate in governmental decisionmaking processes are more likely to assume their share of responsibility for specific outcomes and the overall quality of life in their communities.

Develop mechanisms for ongoing problem-solving within local communities. To prevent unresolved racial, ethnic, or other tensions from erupting into hate incidents or crimes, communities should establish coalitions of political, business, religious, and justice system leaders to encourage ongoing dialogue about current problems and recommend collaborative approaches for resolving them. These coalitions could be the same groups that are involved in long-range strategic planning to prevent hate crime.

Encourage responsible and accurate media coverage. The media should be urged to report on hate crimes accurately, to treat victims with dignity and sensitivity, to provide balanced coverage of organized hate group activities, and to highlight community partners' successes in preventing and responding to hate crimes.

Improve accuracy and completeness of information about the incidence of and response to hate crime. Citizens need to know the facts about hate crimes and current responses to them, so they can more effectively prevent hate crime and deal with its impact on communities. Achieving greater accuracy in documenting hate crimes depends to a large extent on developing shared definitions and reducing barriers to comprehensive reporting, as discussed in several recommendations that follow.

How should we respond to hate crime?


Summit participants reached consensus that the following are effective responses to hate crime:

  • The definition of hate crime must be clear and commonly understood. 

  • Offenders must understand that hate crime will not be tolerated and those who commit it will be apprehended and appropriately sanctioned.

  • Victims must be taken seriously and supported in dealing with the social, emotional, physical, and financial impacts of hate crime.

  • Justice system practitioners and their community partners must hold hate crime offenders accountable for their actions and provide opportunities for them to broaden their perspectives and change their values.


These general principles helped summit work groups craft 22 policy and program recommendations to guide communities and public agencies toward more effective responses to hate crime.


Develop Shared Definitions of Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes.


Prejudicial behavior exists along a continuum including negative speech, discriminatory practices, property damage, physical assault, and murder. Legally, a hate crime is any crime enumerated in a hate crime statute in which a perpetrator is subject to an enhanced penalty if the crime was motivated by bias, as defined by the statute. Hate incidents involve behaviors that, though motivated by bias against a victim's race, religion, ethnic/national origin, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation, are not criminal acts. Communities and justice agencies should develop a common language for these attitudes and behaviors so that their responses can be consistent, equitable, and effective.

Broaden statutory definitions of hate crimes to eliminate disparities between laws. Disparities between federal and state hate crime laws should be eliminated by supporting new laws, which encompass criminal offenses committed against persons, property, or society, which are motivated in whole or in part by offenders' bias against an individual's or a group's actual or perceived race, religion, ethnicity/national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or, where legally permissible, gender. For example, federal law includes sexual orientation, while some state laws do not.

Clarify the difference between hate incidents and hate crimes. Definitions of reportable incidents (hate crimes) should distinguish hate crimes from hate incidents. Hate incidents, in which an individual or group is subjected to negative or offensive speech or behavior that is not a criminal offense, still harm the sense of safety of victims and communities.

Eliminate Barriers to Hate Crime Reporting

Encourage reporting of all hate incidents and crimes. Citizens should be informed through a variety of sources that reporting crimes as bias-related can result in enhanced penalties for perpetrators and specialized support for victims. Schools and colleges should report all hate crimes occurring on campuses to local police. Law enforcement agencies, school administrators, and other first responders should encourage citizens to report all bias-related incidents to the police, even if these incidents do not constitute hate crimes, so high-risk situations can be tracked and appropriate problem-solving actions can be taken.

Make it safe and easy to report bias-related incidents and crimes. To ensure comprehensive reporting of hate incidents and crimes, victims and witnesses must feel safe from retaliation or stigmatization. Telephone hotlines are one way to encourage community members, including students, to report incidents. Crimes reported on hotlines must be reported to a law enforcement agency to be effectively investigated and prosecuted. Police must ensure that both victims and witnesses feel safe.

Develop and disseminate hate crime reporting protocols. Law enforcement agencies, schools and colleges, medical professionals, and community organizations should collaboratively develop and issue standard operating procedures (SOPs) and memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that detail how and to whom individuals should report hate incidents and crimes. SOPs should include criteria to identify incidents as bias-related and determine whether a crime has occurred. They should include specific procedures for reporting both crimes and incidents. These SOPs should be communicated to citizens and community groups in user-friendly, culturally relevant and language-sensitive formats. Hate crimes should always be reported to the police; other hate incidents may be reported to community organizations and kept in some central repository or database.

Provide Adequate Support to Victims of Hate Incidents and Hate Crimes

Ensure that responses to hate incidents and crimes are swift, thorough and sensitive to the feelings of victims. First responders must obtain accurate information about an incident; conduct a preliminary assessment of physical, emotional, and financial injury to a victim; and reassure victims that their concerns and needs will be addressed. First responders must be prepared to assist victims whose initial emotional reactions to an incident may include rage, terror, and grief. Victims and their families should be immediately referred to victim assistance agencies and other community services when needed.

Develop coordinated community plans to respond to and manage public demonstrations by organized hate groups. Plans should specify the responsibilities of law enforcement agencies, including protection of First Amendment rights, techniques to prevent violence through separation of demonstrators and counter groups, and notification and communications responsibilities. Community groups should partner with justice agencies to develop constructive ways to counter the potential negative impacts of such events and to use demonstrations as opportunities to educate citizens, students, and justice system professionals regarding precipitating factors and effective responses. The Department of Justice Community Relations Service can be an excellent resource for help in designing a peaceful response to hate group marches and gatherings.

Assign organizational responsibility for coordinating and monitoring hate crime response. Every law enforcement agency should fix responsibility for coordinating and monitoring responses to hate crime in a specific individual/operating unit. Other first responder organizations, particularly schools and colleges, should also designate individuals who will ensure that responses to hate incidents and crimes are timely and appropriate.

Accord community recognition to "Good Samaritans" who protect victims of hate incidents or crimes, or who report incidents to appropriate authorities. Individuals who risk their own safety to assist victims of bias crime, as well as those who take the time to report threatening or harmful hate incidents, should be publicly recognized for their efforts.

Provide specialized support to hate crime victims through existing victim assistance programs. Victim assistance programs should individualize support for victims of hate incidents and crimes in recognition of the unique and severe impacts they may suffer. Programs should recognize that hate crimes that involve "only" minor property damage or assaults still may have serious long-term impacts on victims. Programs should partner with schools and community groups to provide ongoing support for all hate crime victims, so victims' alienation from their communities can be ameliorated. Agencies and groups providing ongoing services to hate crime victims should be co-located to permit better coordination.

Establish Mechanisms for Repairing Harms to Communities

Support, console, and assist targeted communities. Hate crimes harm not only individual victims but also the groups and communities of which they are a part. Justice and victim assistance agencies should convene and facilitate community meetings in the aftermath of hate crimes to provide opportunities to express feelings and begin the process of restoring a sense of safety and well-being to community members.

Develop coordinated community incident response plans. Communities should create hate crime response teams that comprise representatives of law enforcement, other justice agencies, schools, health care providers, victim assistance programs, and cultural diversity advocacy groups. These teams should develop policies and procedures to respond to bias-motivated incidents or hate crimes. Communities can turn to the United States Department of Justice/United States Attorney Hate Crime Task Force for guidance.

Ensure that schools and colleges establish processes to respond to bias-related incidents. Schools and colleges are self-contained communities that should support students victimized by hate incidents and crimes, and provide for appropriate school-based disciplinary actions and remedial interventions for student perpetrators.

Engage the media as partners to restore communities to wholeness. Through responsible reporting, the media can play a critical role in defusing community tensions, preventing further bias-motivated incidents in the wake of identified hate crimes, and educating the public to understand and prevent hate crime. Justice agencies and community groups should establish a single point of contact to provide media representatives with accurate information about the nature and impact of hate incidents and crimes while respecting individual victims' rights to privacy and security.

Develop More Effective Sanctions for Hate Crime Perpetrators

Impose enhanced sentences for violent or repetitive hate crime offenders. Most hate crime statutes provide enhanced penalties, usually longer sentences, for crimes determined to be bias-related. These enhancements are particularly appropriate for chronic, violent hate crime offenders who pose a significant and continuing risk to community safety.

Use restorative justice options for first-time nonviolent hate crime offenders. Restorative justice options can promote healing of victims and change offender attitudes, while restoring the trust of the community. They are appropriate whenever victims and communities are willing to hold hate crime offenders accountable for repairing the physical and emotional harm caused by their actions.

Involve parents of juvenile hate crime offenders in post-adjudication sanctions and interventions. Families can have a powerful influence, for better or worse, on the outcomes of correctional interventions for youthful offenders. Involving parents and their children in treatment and education opportunities can teach whole families to practice peaceful conflict resolution and exercise tolerance of individual differences.

Develop strategies to counter the influence of organized hate groups in correctional in institutions. Efforts to change attitudes and behavior patterns of hate crime offenders sentenced to prison may be thwarted by the influence of organized hate groups operating within prisons and jails. Corrections administrators must develop strategies to contain or counter the bias-motivated activities and expressions of these inmate groups.


Enhance Professional Training.


Professionals who must respond to hate crimes, assist victims and communities, and impose sanctions and interventions on convicted offenders require ongoing training and technical support. In 1995, a model curriculum for training law enforcement and victim assistance professionals was fashioned by the Education Development Center, with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance. A few years before, the FBI published a guide to assist law enforcement agencies with hate crime data collection and training program design. Many other resources can be tapped to help design and implement essential training.

Summit participants recommend four types of training:

Train first responders, investigators, and leaders. Topics should include the following: recognizing bias-related incidents, utilizing standard criteria to determine bias and assess perpetrator intent, interviewing victims and witnesses, collecting and preserving evidence, referring victims to appropriate community agencies, providing information to prosecutors and the courts, and standardizing documentation of hate incidents/crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice has available four hate crime curriculums that are excellent training resources: Patrol and Responding Officers; Detectives and Investigators; Core Curriculum for Patrol Officers, Detectives, and Command Officers; and Command Officers.

Train victim assistance providers. Topics should include assessing impacts of hate incidents and crimes on victims, reviewing hate crime reporting protocols, exploring the continuum of support options, and engaging community groups in the healing process.

Train judges and prosecutors. Topics should include creative alternative sentencing approaches, outcomes and impacts of all types of sanctions, and treatments for perpetrators. Prosecutors and judges must be fully apprised of community and law enforcement strategies for hate crimes, so subsequent charging and adjudication decisions are consistent.

Provide cross-disciplinary training for all those who respond to hate incidents and crimes. Cross-disciplinary training that involves educators, law enforcement officers, victim assistance providers, court personnel, and correctional officers should promote closer collaboration for response to hate crime.

How will we know we are succeeding?

Summit participants cited three types of research that are needed to better understand hate crime, its consequences, and promising responses:

  • Conduct basic research to shed light on the causes of hate crime and to provide insight into promising ways to deal with the causes.

  • Evaluate research to identify the most effective prevention efforts.

  • Evaluate research to identify the most effective strategies to heal community harm and reform offenders. 


Six recommendations were developed:

  1. Conduct Basic Research.
  2. Clearly define expected outcomes of hate crime prevention and response efforts. Useful program evaluation relies on clear and measurable definitions of outcomes. In addition to reducing the incidence of hate crime (all hate crime or particular offense types targeted by a prevention strategy), positive outcomes could include changes in attitudes of children or community members who participate in hate crime prevention training, improved conflict resolution skills, increased victim satisfaction, enhanced perceptions of safety and well-being, reduced recidivism rates, and positive changes in the behavior or attitudes of offenders.

  3. Define valid measures of expected outcomes. To assess the impact of prevention and response efforts, outcome measures must be carefully specified and the results interpreted validly. For example, in communities with growing populations, the number of hate crime incidents may increase over time even though prevention and response efforts may be contributing to an overall reduction in the rate of hate crimes. Quantifying changes in other outcomes involving attitudes, values, or perceptions is a challenging evaluation task, but can be accomplished through careful design of survey formats, data collection protocols, and methods of "counting" that ensure uniformity and objectivity.


  4. Ensure that all hate incidents and crimes are documented thoroughly and consistently. To assess correlations among characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and the situations in which hate crimes occur, detailed information about these variables should be routinely collected by first responders and stored in central data repositories accessible to researchers.

  5. Collect data on expected outcomes where particular prevention and intervention efforts are being implemented, over time, across jurisdictions, and in a variety of settings. By documenting trends in such outcome measures as the rate of reported hate crimes or the recidivism of convicted perpetrators, the long-range impact of prevention and response strategies can be demonstrated. However, in jurisdictions where the rate of hate crime reporting has been low, a desirable short-term or interim outcome may well be to increase the rate of reported hate incidents or crimes. Analyzing differences in trends across jurisdictions and settings may also yield insights about the impacts of contextual factors on outcomes.

  6. Share quantitative and qualitative information about the elements of successful prevention and response programs. Researchers and program evaluators should collaborate with justice professionals and those who implement prevention and response strategies to design evaluations that will generate information useful for program design, public information campaigns, and professional training efforts. Evaluators must document the qualitative case studies of successful efforts to prevent and respond to bias-motivated incidents. Human-scale stories can enrich the pictures painted by quantitative data, and encourage others to invest in similar efforts in their own communities. 

  7. Systematically record characteristics and activities of organized hate groups. Documenting the extent to which organized hate group activities are linked to hate incidents and crimes is important. Through study of hate group goals, tactics, and impacts, researchers may be able to pinpoint promising ways to counter their influence, both with their members and on the larger society.

Law Enforcement Action Agenda

Law enforcement agencies must assume a central role in implementing the hate crime prevention, response, and performance measurement strategies outlined above. To encourage and enable law enforcement agencies to lead community-wide endeavors, summit participants recommended 12 actions:

  • Establish a "zero-tolerance" atmosphere in every law enforcement agency. Police leaders and officers must be positive examples for their communities by actively discouraging bias-related behavior or speech in their own organizations. To be leaders in preventing hate crimes, law enforcement professionals must ensure that they exemplify the values of tolerance and peaceful conflict resolution, and that any bias-related behavior by police officers is dealt with swiftly, equitably, and severely.

  • Encourage local jurisdictions to conduct hate crime summits. Local hate crime summits or focus groups can elicit community views on pressing issues, educate community leaders, and galvanize public support for investing in hate crime prevention and response. Law enforcement agencies can use the IACP summit model to engage community organizations, first responders, schools, and justice system agencies to collaborate closely with police to address hate crimes.

  • Participate in collaborative development of coordinated approaches to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Law enforcement agencies must be architects of and active participants in ongoing planning processes to enable communities to assess hate crime issues, inventory current policies and practices, and devise strategies to improve prevention and intervention efforts.

  • Sponsor and participate actively in community events, forums, and activities concerning diversity tolerance, bias reduction, conflict resolution, and hate crime prevention. Police leaders and officers should be an influential presence at public events that encourage community members to talk about differences and commonalities and share visions of safe and healthy communities. Law enforcement leaders must continue to speak out forcefully against intolerance, bigotry, and hate crimes, not only in the aftermath of particular incidents, but at all times.

  • Respond to and support the individual victims of hate crimes and their communities. Police officers must obtain accurate information about a hate crime or incident; conduct a preliminary assessment of victims' physical, emotional and financial injuries; and reassure victims that their concerns and needs will be addressed comprehensively. Police should encourage members of the community at large to express their feelings and should take action to restore a sense of safety and well being in the community.

  • Employ community policing strategies to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Community policing principles encourage law enforcement agencies to foster close connections with the communities they serve, and to support officers in creative problem-solving that will prevent or discourage criminal behavior. These principles can readily be applied to the work of preventing hate-motivated incidents and crimes.

  • Continuously investigate, track, and deal appropriately with the activities of organized hate groups. Continuous intelligence-gathering about hate group activities is a primary responsibility of law enforcement agencies that requires cross-jurisdictional collaboration and significant investment in information systems technology and training. Law enforcement agencies must protect the First Amendment rights of hate groups while simultaneously ensuring the safety and well-being of communities that hate groups attack verbally or in other non-criminal ways. 

  • Identify and report all bias-related incidents and hate crimes completely and accurately. Law enforcement agencies should collaborate with other first responders to specify how and to whom citizens should report bias-related incidents and hate crimes. Detailed information about characteristics of victims, of perpetrators, and the situations in which hate incidents and crimes occur should be routinely collected by police.

  • Ensure that all law enforcement professionals are trained to recognize and respond appropriately to hate crimes. Police officers must be trained to recognize potential bias-related incidents, use standard criteria for determining bias and assessing perpetrators' intent, interview victims and witnesses, collect and preserve evidence, refer victims to appropriate community agencies, provide information to prosecutors and the courts, and standardize documentation of all hate incidents/crimes.

  • Assist schools and colleges to design and deliver hate crime prevention curricula and to develop response protocols. Hate crime prevention curricula can be used in general and alternative classrooms, in schools experiencing bias crime problems, with student government leaders, in after-school programs, and in teacher training. The Education Development Center, with support of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, has prepared a model curriculum for middle and high school students designed to reduce prejudice and prevent crimes based on intolerance. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice collaborated to produce a manual that provides guidance to schools and communities to develop school-based hate crime prevention programs. Police leaders and officers should be involved in planning and delivering such curricula in a wide variety of school and college/university settings. Law enforcement agencies can also assist schools and colleges in developing protocols for recognizing and responding appropriately to hate incidents and crimes.

  • Engage the media as partners in preventing hate crimes and restoring victimized communities. Law enforcement leaders and their public information officers should encourage the media to report on hate crimes accurately, to treat victims with dignity and sensitivity, to provide balanced coverage of organized hate group activities, and to highlight community successes in preventing and responding to hate crimes.

  • Collaborate in defining measurable outcomes of efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Police leaders and officers should work with community members and researchers to define standards for success in preventing and responding to hate crimes. Performance measures should focus not only on reducing negative behaviors, but also on enhancing the quality of life in communities. Law enforcement participation in evaluation efforts can help to ensure that research results will be used to continuously improve the effectiveness of prevention and response strategies.

    Law enforcement leaders and officers will continue to contribute significantly to stopping violence and preventing hate crimes. However, the work outlined in this report cannot be accomplished solely through the efforts of law enforcement agencies. Implementing summit recommendations requires the continuing collaboration and commitment of community leaders, parents and families, schools, and other public agencies in the ongoing enterprise to create a society of peacemakers.



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