Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)
Applicant: Office of the Nassau County District Attorney
Project period: 10/01/22-9/30/26
Total funds requested: $400,000.00
Recognizing that a comprehensive approach is essential to prevent/reduce hate crimes, enhance public safety, and encourage trust-building between law enforcement and the community, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office (“NCDA”) is seeking $400,000.00 in funding to reshape its Hate Crimes Unit (“HCU”) and implement the “Hate Crime Response and Reporting Enhancement Program.” Funding from this grant would be allocated to the base salary of a Unit Chief, an HCU ADA, and an additional support staff person who will dedicate 50% of their duties to the HCU. Under this grant, the enhanced HCU will continue to investigate/prosecute hate crimes, but with more experienced dedicated staff that has the resources and bandwidth to proactively engage affected communities and victims to promote reporting, reconciliation, and education.
The HCU’s strategy will involve increasing the number of prosecutorial and support staff who will be responsible for, inter alia:
Prosecuting suspected hate crimes within Nassau County from arrest to disposition,
Establishing a culturally competent trauma-informed standard of care for hate crime victims with expanded services/counseling,
Enhancing/expanding rehabilitative and restorative justice programs for hate crime offenders as alternatives to prosecution,
Enhancing/expanding community outreach with professional written and digital materials that encourage reporting in multiple languages,
Increasing the number of presentations conducted on hate crimes/bias incidents to include school districts and other affected communities,
Creating investigative capabilities for NCDA to undertake proactive investigations into hate groups operating in Nassau County,
Developing/offering training to law enforcement partners regarding hate crimes law and effective evidence collection to enhance prosecutorial outcomes,
Training agency personnel in hate crimes and culturally competent trauma-informed responses to hate crime victims and affected communities,
Coordinating with NCDA’s law enforcement partners to develop a standardized system for collecting, analyzing, and reporting hate crime/bias incidents,
Creating internal policies/procedures (including the adoption of a response plan), and
Working with lawmakers to advocate changes to statutes/local laws that affect hate crime reporting, prosecution, and public awareness.
Additionally, the HCU will expand its community relation functions and develop a targeted public awareness/media campaign. Specifically, HCU will liaise with community-based organizations/leaders to mobilize resources that can be used to assist victims and prevent future hate crimes/incidents, conduct public meetings/forums to address the community-wide impact of hate crimes, and provide hate crime training for community residents.