Preventing Hate Crimes; a Literary Review

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LITERARY REVIEW: THE PREVENTION OF HATE CRIMES Introduction: It is an unfortunate reality that prejudice and aggression are some of the oldest and most long standing features of human society. Many have struggled to understand and address these problematic issues including social scientists, law enforcement, and other theorists. Society’s general adaption of values such as equality and tolerance coupled with the persistence of group tensions arising from a long history of ethnic, racial and status differences has given rise to a different brand of criminal activity; the hate crime. Increases or shifts in diversity have also contributed to the emergence of the hate crime (Boeckmann, R. J., 2002). Recognition of the dangerous harm of these acts is responded to in the form of hate crime laws. These laws are a legal attempt at recognizing the harm of this form of aggression. It also notes the importance of implementing sanctions against these acts. According to the Uniform Crime Reports, which is reported by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “almost 8,000 hate crime incidents were reported to the police in 2006” (Zaykowski, H., 2010). In 2010 the Bureau of Justice Statistics report estimated that over 200,000 individual's are victims of hate crimes each year. “The disparity between statistics and self-reported victimizations indicates that a large number of incidents are never reported to the police” (Zaykowski, H., 2010). This staggering disparity raises questions about the trust that victims have in the hate crime laws. It also prompts questions about the effectiveness of the hate crime laws in general. The following California statistic is a prime example of this argument. According to the Attorney General’s Report; “only 51% of cases filed as “Hate Crimes” result in “Hate Crime Convictions”. Compare that with an average conviction

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