Next Steps for Congress on Hate Crime Reporting

Details

Author(s):
  • Kai Wiggins
Publish Date:
2022
Publication Title:
Stanford Law & Policy Review
Format:
Volume 33 Issue 2 Pages 393-413
Citation(s):
  • Kai Wiggins, Next Steps for Congress on Hate Crime Reporting, 33 Stan. L. & Pol'y Rev. 393 (2022).

Abstract

Named after two victims whose murders were prosecuted as hate crimes but not reported in hate crime statistics, the Khalid Jabara and Heather Heyer No Hate Act attempts to improve hate crime reporting in the United States by encouraging state and local jurisdictions to adopt best practices for hate crime data collection. Covered jurisdictions must report on their progress to the Department of Justice, which must then compile the information and publish a report for Congress examining the relationship between hate crime rates within those jurisdictions and their adoption of the Act’s best practices. Although the Act’s substantive features are promising, its incentive structure, which creates an optional grant program instead of imposing conditions on existing funds, inhibits their effect by limiting coverage to a small, self-selecting subset of large jurisdictions. This Essay argues that Congress must strengthen the Jabara-Heyer Act if it wants to see better hate crime statistics. But even that might not be enough.