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ASSESSING THE CLIMATE FOR HATE CRIME REPORTING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS: A FORCE-FIELD ANALYSIS

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The passage of the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 resulted in the creation of a new crime category within law enforcement. Linking the collection of national hate crime data to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program required changes in policy and action within thousands of police organizations throughout the United States. The commitment to make these changes and the speed to which one might expect them to occur are a function of the forces, both internal and external, that affect attitudes and behaviors relative to this change. A survey instrument was developed to examine these forces and the extent to which they exist in four police jurisidictions from different regions of the country. Two of these organizations collect hate crime data and two do not. We found that each of the four agencies had its own unique "field of forces" affecting attitudes and behaviors regarding hate crime. The study provides both a method of inquiry and important direction to justice professionals who seek to facilitate organizational change within law enforcement toward more active involvement in hate crime data collection.
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Keywords: Change processes; Field theory; Hate crime; Hate crime reporting; Hate crime statistics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Division of Sociology and Anthropology, School of Applied Social Sciences, West Virginia University, 316 Knapp Hall, Morgantown, WV 26506, USA 2: Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Headquarters, 10th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20535, USA

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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