ADL Calls for More Training, Outreach to Enhance National Hate Crimes Data Collection
New York, NY, December 6, 2004 … Concerned that at least 5,000 police departments failed to participate in national data collection on hate crimes in 2003, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is leading a coalition of national groups seeking to expand federal training, outreach and education materials on hate violence.
To that end, ADL and a coalition of national organizations has recommended a series of changes to the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Advisory Policy Board that would enable better and more accurate reporting of hate crimes by local law enforcement authorities pursuant to the 1990 Hate Crime Statistics Act.
"The FBI annual hate crime reports have become essential tools for understanding our nation's hate crime problem, and the FBI's efforts in gathering and publishing the national data should be praised," said Barbara B. Balser, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "However, we must build on that foundation and find ways to promote better and more complete reporting by police agencies across the country."
In a letter co-signed by a coalition of 22 religious, civil rights, law enforcement, and civic organizations that meet regularly to promote improved federal response to hate violence, ADL applauded the FBI's efforts in gathering and publishing hate crimes data. However, the letter urged the Bureau to expand its training initiatives, provide greater specificity in the data collected, and give incentives for state and local police agencies to participate in the national hate crime data collection effort.
In 2003, almost 12,000 police agencies reported close to 7,500 hate crimes to the FBI, but over 5,000 departments did not participate at all in the national data collection efforts. ADL's letter recommended that the FBI collect additional information about the age, gender, sexual orientation, and national origin of victims and perpetrators of these crimes. In addition, the letter called for the FBI to revise and update its 1999 training manual and data collection guidelines to reflect these changes.
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.