Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)
The Office of the Attorney General of Illinois seeks $394,772.00 for a 48-month project to provide specialized training to law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys in Illinois. The training will be in consultation with community-based organizations and civil rights groups, with the goal of enhancing the reporting, identification, and prosecution of hate crimes across the State. The training for law enforcement will be evidence-based, trauma-informed, victim-centered, and culturally competent. A curriculum for a training on identifying, reporting and responding to hate crimes and bias incidents will be developed for all levels of sworn officers and other first responders to calls for service or reports from victims. This training will be in an online and video format. A more intensive curriculum for an in-person training for field training officers and investigators will be implemented. The Office of the Attorney General of Illinois will create a collaborative training model to conduct up to 36 trainings for investigators. Trainings will be specifically targeted to train 250 prosecutors. Topics will include the specifics of the state and federal hate crimes statutes, the effects of trauma on victims, the importance of community relationships, and identifying a hate crime when multiple motives exist.
Trainings will be conducted in partnership with community-based organizations and civil rights groups such as chapters of the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League. Other partners may include elected State’s Attorneys, the Illinois Prosecutor’s Bar Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board Executive Institute, the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, the Illinois State Police, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
Training law enforcement and prosecutors will enhance their knowledge and skills. Communities targeted by hate often face barriers to reporting hate crimes, such as fears about being targeted for immigration enforcement. When community members who report hate crimes or bias incidents are treated with empathy and respect, they are more likely to participate and stay engaged in the criminal justice process. Confidence in the justice system increases and retraumatization is minimized. We seek to an increase in the number of cases reported, investigated, arrests, charges, and the number of convictions. This will enhance community-police relationships and build community trust, further improving reporting.