Laws and Policies

Laws and Policies

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Lady Justice statue against a white background – Discover if your state or territory has hate crimes laws or requires reporting data on hate crimes.

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Federal Laws and Statutes

The Department of Justice enforces federal hate crimes laws that cover certain crimes committed on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability. The Department of Justice began prosecuting federal hate crimes cases after the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The information below explains current federal hate crimes laws.

Federal Hate Crime Laws

State Laws, Codes, and Statutes

Most states and U.S. territories have hate crime statutes that are enforced by state and local law enforcement in state and local courts. Hate crime laws in states and territories vary widely across jurisdictions.

  • Bias motivations: Different jurisdictions define hate crimes to include different bias motivations.
  • Penalty enhancements: Laws in some jurisdictions increase the sentence for crimes motivated by identified factors. At least 46 states and the District of Columbia have statutes with penalties for bias-motivated crimes.
  • Data collection: Some jurisdictions require collecting data on hate crimes. Data provides better transparency into crimes that are occurring and can help states allocate support and resources to communities in greatest need.

Even if a state or territory does not have a hate crimes law, hate crimes can still be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Which States and Territories Have Hate Crimes Laws and Require Data Collection on Hate Crimes

States and Territories That Have Hate Crimes Laws and Require Data Collection on Hate Crimes


Hate Crime Law: A specific statute that criminalizes acts motivated by the victim's identity with a particular group or groups. Often these groups include race, religion, national origin, and disability.

Data Collection: State law requires that data be collected about hate crimes. Often this data is collected by state law enforcement agencies or a records agency and includes information about the motivations, victims, and perpetrators of hate crimes.

Which States and Territories Have Hate Crimes Laws and Require Data Collection on Hate Crimes

The information in the table duplicates the information presented on the map.

Has hate crimes laws

Requires data collection on hate crimes

Has hate crimes laws

Does not require data collection on hate crimes

Does not have hate crimes laws

Does not require collection on hate crimes

Arizona (AZ)

California (CA)


District of Columbia (DC)

Florida (FL)

Georgia (GA)

Hawaii (HI)

Idaho (ID)

Illinois (IL)

Indiana (IN)

Iowa (IA)

Kentucky (KY)

Louisiana (LA)

Maine (ME)

Maryland (MD)

Massachusetts (MA)

Michigan (MI)

Minnesota (MN)

Nebraska (NE)

Nevada (NV)

New Jersey(NJ)

New Mexico(NM)

New York (NY)

Oklahoma (OK)

Oregon (OR)

Pennsylvania (PA)

Rhode Island (RI)

Texas (TX)

Utah (UT)

Virginia (VA)

Washington (WA)

Alabama (AL)

Alaska (AK)


Delaware (DE)

Kansas (KS)

Mississippi (MS)

Missouri (MO)

Montana (MT)

New Hampshire (NH)

North Carolina (NC)

North Dakota (ND)

Ohio (OH)

Puerto Rico (PR)

South Dakota (SD)

Tennessee (TN)

Vermont (VT)

West Virginia (WV)

Wisconsin (WI)

American Samoa (AS)

Arkansas (AR)

Guam (GU)

Northern Mariana Islands (MP)

South Carolina (SC)

U.S. Virgin Islands (VI)

Wyoming (WY)

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