ADL CALLS FOR PERMANENT MANDATE FOR FBI HATE CRIME DATA
Washington, D.C., March 19, 1996...In testimony today before
the Senate Judiciary Committee, representatives of the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) urged Members of Congress to support a permanent mandate for
the Hate Crimes Statistics Act (HCSA), which requires the Justice Department
to acquire data on bias-motivated crimes.
"The readiness of the criminal justice system to address hate violence
has significantly improved over the five year history of the HCSA,"
said Stephen Arent, a Denver attorney, an ADL National Commissioner and
a Vice Chair of the League's National Civil Rights Executive Committee.
"It is our belief that providing a permanent mandate for the Act will
help institutionalize these changes and expand upon the improvements."
ADL testimony highlighted a number of national and Congressional initiatives
responding to hate violence which have been developed since the passage
of the HCSA in 1990. The League also called for Congress and the administration
to provide additional incentives for comprehensive HCSA implementation,
including matching grants for training, and a policy that makes only those
agencies that participate in the HCSA eligible to receive Justice Department
discretionary funds for law enforcement services.
"All Americans have a stake in effective response to violent bigotry,"
said Mr. Arent. "It is our belief that providing a permanent mandate
for the Act will help institutionalize improvements in the response of the
criminal justice system to this national problem."
Since the original enactment of the HCSA, the FBI has developed a system
to collect data on crimes which "manifest prejudice based on race,
religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity" and to publish an annual
summary of the findings. ADL, which has been the leading advocate for hate
crime legislation nationwide and played an instrumental role in the original
adoption of the HCSA, has also served as a principal resource for the FBI
in designing materials for education and outreach on hate crimes.
Michael Lieberman, ADL Washington Counsel, joined Mr. Arent in testifying
before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.