U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Hate Crimes (From Atlas of Crime: Mapping the Criminal Landscape, P 171-178, 2000, Linda S. Turnbull, Elaine Hallisey Hendrix, eds, et al., -- See NCJ-193465

NCJ Number
Damon D. Camp
Date Published
8 pages
This chapter describes hate crimes, one of the major components of domestic terrorism.
Hate groups in general are more prevalent east of and along the Mississippi River, and in States along the Pacific. Although there is no generally accepted definition, most agree that hate crime deals with criminal behavior motivated by bigotry and hatred. Hate crime focuses on the symbolic status of the victim and the motives of the perpetrator. The most frequently reported hate crime is intimidation and most hate crime victims are individuals. Typically, they have been victimized because of their race, religion, or ethnicity. It was recently suggested that hate crime should be expanded to include bias-related crime with such factors as gender, political belief systems, and sexual orientation involved. The vast majority of hate crime activity has involved perpetrators who are ultra-right-wing extremists. Far Right extremism consists of ultra conservative beliefs that include anti-government views, pro-Christianity, and racial and ethnic purity. Other ties to this movement include survivalism, para-militarism, Neo-Nazism, and Holocaust Revisionism. Survivalists usually focus their efforts preparing for an anticipated “Doomsday.” Those who espouse this theory usually also promote para-military training. These right-wing extremist organizations are often referred to as “hate groups” and their prevalence is evident. They can be found in 44 States. Florida and California have the highest numbers; the Great Plains the lowest. Hate groups engage in a broad range of activities, from circulating publications to preaching and teaching hatred and violence. Some right-wing members do engage in criminal violence, for example the “Skinheads” have been linked to numerous attacks. Perhaps the most infamous hate group is the Ku Klux Klan. Crime and violence surrounding numerous Klan groups have been prevalent in the recent past. Virtually every State now has some type of hate crime legislation. Criminal laws can be divided into institutionalized violence and intimidation and harassment. The legal system and the public appear in favor of enhanced punishments for hate crimes. 6 figures, 29 references