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Laws and Policies

Laws and Policies

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

Federal Laws and Statutes

The Department of Justice enforces laws enacted by the U.S. Congress criminalizing hate crimes committed on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, and gender identity, and sexual orientation. The first federal laws expressly addressing hate crimes were enacted in 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 state hate crime statutes that are enforced by state and local law enforcement in state and local courts. State hate crime laws vary dramatically from state to state.

  • Bias motivations: Different state laws define hate crimes to include different bias motivations.
  • Penalty enhancements: Some state laws increase the sentence for crimes motivated by identified factors. At least 45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes with penalties for bias-motivated crimes.
  • Data collection: Some states 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

Requires data collection on hate crimes

Does not have hate crimes laws

Does not require collection on hate crimes

Arizona (AZ)

California (CA)

Connecticut(CT)

District of Columbia (DC)

Florida (FL)

Hawaii (HI)

Idaho (ID)

Illinois (IL)

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)

Colorado(CO)

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)

Indiana (IN)

American Samoa (AS)

Arkansas (AR)

Georgia (GA)

Guam (GU)

Northern Mariana Islands (MP)

South Carolina (SC)

U.S. Virgin Islands (VI)

Wyoming (WY)

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