The Hate Crime Statistics Act (HCSA)

Enacted in 1990, the HCSA requires the Justice Department to acquire data on crimes which "manifest prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity" from law enforcement agencies across the country and to publish an annual summary of the findings. In the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Congress expanded coverage of the HCSA to require FBI reporting on crimes based on "disability."

Six Years of HCSA Data: Progress and Significant Promise

The FBI documented a total of 4,558 hate crimes in 1991, reported from almost 2,800 police departments in 32 states. The Bureau's 1992 data, released in March, 1994, documented 7,442 hate crime incidents reported from more than twice as many agencies, 6,181 -- representing 42 states and the District of Columbia. For 1993, the FBI reported 7,587 hate crimes from 6,865 agencies in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The FBI's 1994 statistics documented 5,932 hate crimes, reported by 7,356 law enforcement agencies across the country. The FBI’s 1995 HCSA report documented 7,947 crimes reported by 9,584 agencies across the country.

The FBI’s most recent HCSA report, for 1996, documented 8,759 hate crimes reported to the FBI by 11,355 agencies across the country. The FBI report indicated that about 63% of the reported hate crimes were race-based, with 14% committed against individuals on the basis of their religion, 11% on the basis of ethnicity, and 12% on the basis of sexual orientation. Approximately 42% of the reported crimes were anti-Black, 13% of the crimes were anti-White. The 1,109 crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions comprised almost 13% of the total -- and 79% of the reported hate crimes based on religion. 4% of the crimes were anti-Asian, and just over 6% were anti-Hispanic.