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FY21 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $300,000)

New Jersey is committed to data driven solutions to prevent and combat bias incidents and crimes in the State.  Accurate, rich, and timely data is paramount for the effective deployment of law enforcement resources to address these crimes.   As the State’s Chief Law Enforcement officer, the Attorney General hopes to set the standards for using data to craft effective investigative, prosecutorial, and public outreach strategies to address the issue of bias incidents/crimes.

To accomplish this goal and respond to the rise in bias incidents/crimes, the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), within New Jersey’s Attorney General’s Office, seeks grant funding under the BJA FY 21 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program.  The NJOAG-DCJ will apply for the full $300,000 used over three years – $100,000 per year.

If selected, DCJ will use these grants funds to enhance victim reporting tools – namely through increasing participation in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). 

DCJ will build upon its existing efforts to assist all law enforcement agencies in New Jersey submit crime data to the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, enabling the statewide UCR program the ability to report to the Federal National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). 

Through its collaborative relationships with the State’s over 500 local law enforcement agencies, DCJ will make these funds available to modify records management software (RMS) so that each municipality can report NIBRS-compatible incident-based crime data to the state UCR Program.  This, in turn, will enable the NJSP to report bias/hate crimes data to NIBRS.

By bringing more local law enforcement agencies into NIBRS compliance with these grant funds, New Jersey can expand and enhance its strategies for preventing, reporting, identifying, and charging bias/hate crimes, including victim reporting, through the tool of improved data. 
As a dynamically diverse state, New Jersey values and respect the right for all persons to feel safe and free from bias/hate crimes.  Enhancing New Jersey’s pre-existing collaboration between local, State, and Federal government law enforcement agencies will protect our citizens though a stronger, data driven strategy of prevention, investigation, and prosecution of hate crimes.

Date Created: November 2, 2021