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ADL Calls New Justice Department Report on Hate Crimes 'A Valuable Look at Bias'

Washington, D.C., … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a new Justice Department report on hate crimes, which provides important new details about the nature of hate violence in America. The report analyzes a subset of hate crimes previously reported to the FBI from 1997-1999.

"This report - though limited in scope - is a valuable look at bias under the microscope, particularly concerning youthful hate crime offenders," said Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Especially at this time of heightened awareness and concern about hate-motivated violence based on religion and ethnicity, it is important that we learn more about this national problem - and take appropriate steps to prevent these crimes."

The report, which provides previously undisclosed details about nearly 3,000 of the almost 24,000 hate crimes reported to the FBI from 1997-1999, reveals that hate crimes are far more likely to be violent than other crimes. The report indicated that a disproportionately high percentage of both victims of hate violence, and perpetrators, are young people under 25 years of age. The report also disclosed that only 20 percent of hate crimes result in an arrest.

"This report is yet another indication that the federal government has an essential role to play in combating bias-motivated crime," said Mr. Tobias and Mr. Foxman. "There is a role for expanded law enforcement response - such as the pending Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act - as well as increased anti-bias education initiatives."

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.

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