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

Skinheads in America

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 71 Issue: 64 Dated: October 2007 Pages: 64,66,68,71
Amanda Phillips
Date Published
October 2007
6 pages
This article profiles hate groups, primarily "Skinheads," and Federal hate-crime legislation; and guides police agencies in the provision of services to hate-crime victims and how to conduct hate-crime investigations.
Skinheads and other hate crime groups terrorize members of targeted groups for intimidation and physical attacks. Racist skinheads--whose trademark appearance consists of shaved head, combat boots, bomber jacket, and neo-Nazi and White power tattoos--has become a fixture in American culture according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's (SPLC’s) Intelligence Project. In 2006, the SPLC tracked more than 844 cases of hate crimes that involved such hate groups as the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Black Separatist, Neo-Confederate, Racist Skinhead, and Christian Identity. In May 2007, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1592, Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA), in order to provide Federal assistance to State and local jurisdictions, as well as Indian tribes, for the prosecution of hate crimes. This act defines a "hate crime" as any violent act causing death or bodily injury because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability of the victim. The International Association of Chiefs of Police recommends that law enforcement agencies assist hate crime victims by assigning them a contact person in the department, informing them of case progress, referring them to appropriate support services, protecting their privacy, coordinating community clean-up efforts in cases of hate-related vandalism, participating in community efforts to address hate crimes, and collaborating with community leaders in assisting victims and preventing hate crimes. Guidance for investigating hate crimes includes the acquisition of intelligence on the characteristics, targets, tactics, and symbols of specific hate groups, as well as the establishment of a hate-crime investigation unit.