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Anti-LGBTQ Hate Crimes in Miami: Research Summary and Policy Recommendations

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2020
13 pages

Although the project reported here focuses on the hate crime victimization within Miami's Latine LGBTQ community, it also advises that the implications of this research can help improve the criminal justice system’s responses to hate crime motivated by victims' race, religion, disability, or other identities.


The key findings and corresponding recommendations of this study are intended to assist police and prosecutors in identifying and investigating hate crimes, assist crime victims, and engage with the LGBTQ community.  The main data source for this study was the interviews with 400 Latine LGBTQ individuals who have experienced what they perceived as a crime within the 5 years preceding the interview. All respondents were required to be 18 years old or older, Latine, self-identified as LGBTQ, have experienced victimization, and not had more than two drinks prior to the interview. To measure the criminal justice system’s challenges and opportunities for reforming it, 10 practitioners were interviewed, all of whom were identified through a combination of key informants’ referrals and “snowball” sampling. The sample included all practitioners who had any direct experience with hate crime cases. Data were collected on victimization, crime-reporting and case processing, consequences of victimization, and hate-crime prosecution. Based on these findings, seven policy recommendations address the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office (SAO), the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD), and other law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade. The recommendations pertain to hate-crime detection protocol, specialized workforce development, victim engagement in lieu of subpoena, the training of criminal justice practitioners, change in the hate-crime statute, data and research, and communication and awareness building. The report also advises that although the recommendations focus on addressing anti-LGBTQ hate crimes, most of the recommendations are also relevant to addressing hate crimes motivated by victims’ race, ethnicity, religion, or other protected characteristics.

Date Published: September 1, 2020