Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $833,334)
Since 2016, hate crimes and hate bias incidents have risen sharply nationwide. Maryland similarly has seen a significant increase in hate crimes and bias incidents over the past five years, particularly in conduct motivated by bias against a victim’s race/ethnicity/ancestry (R/E/A), religion, and sexual orientation. Preliminary data for 2020 and 2021 indicates that this trend persists, specifically for hate activity motivated by R/E/A bias. Despite recent enhancements to the State’s hate crime laws which expand protected categories and prohibited conduct, standardize reporting, and mandate law enforcement training, Maryland continues to face significant challenges in obtaining complete reporting, engaging law enforcement and community-based organizations in areas impacted by hate activity, and in securing justice for victims through prosecution.
As part of Maryland’s coordinated statewide efforts, the Maryland Office of Attorney General (OAG) requests $750,000 to engage in a multi-level effort to promote a comprehensive response to address hate crimes. OAG will utilize funds over a three-year period (Oct. 2021- Sept. 2024) to: enhance community-based partnership by creating a Hate Crimes Task Force comprised of law enforcement, civil rights agencies and community-based organizations; develop a statewide hate crime web portal; conduct regional hate crime summits; and train law enforcement and prosecutors. OAG will hire an Assistant Attorney General and a Program Manager to manage the activities of the Hate Crimes Task Force and the subaward to the Maryland State Police who will work with the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center to lead the development of the training platform. All project partners will track their progress by reporting on specific program measures as required.