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Bias Crime Assessment: A Tool and Guidelines for Law Enforcement and Concerned Communities

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2018
18 pages
This report presents the content and suggested uses of the Bias Assessment Tool (BCAT) and Guidelines, whose aim is to improve the reporting of hate-related incidents and crimes.
The BCAT has two parts. Part I is short and intended for quick assessment regarding whether an incident or crime is motivated by hate for the victim because of her/his disability, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, or religion. This part of the BCAT collects basic information that first responders to an incident generally require. This section records basic information about the first responder and the person reporting. The information solicited covers the details of the incident (date, time, location, and what occurred) and features of the potential hate victim's identity that may have elicited a potential offender's attack, including disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, color, religion, or sexual orientation. Other information solicited under BCAT Part I is offender characteristics, witnesses or bystanders, victim's perception of intent, and the impact of the offense. At the end of Part I, the first-responder or other official investigator should use her/his judgment in provisionally determining whether a bias crime has occurred and the recommended next steps. If the assessor decides against proceeding with Part 2 of the BCAT, this decision must be explained. Part 2 of the BCAT is useful for more comprehensive assessments of the event and persons involved. It may be particularly helpful in case management, victim assistance, planning, and case review. Issues addressed include the victim's detailed narrative, prior incidents and community concerns, victim assistance and additional action plans, and incident review/performance measures. The BCAT is intended for use by a wide range of settings by schools, law enforcement, victim assistance specialists, community and civil rights advocates, health-care providers, or social service agency staff.

Date Published: August 1, 2018