The Department of Justice is committed to advancing work that promotes civil rights, increases access to justice, supports crime victims, protects the public from crime and evolving threats, and builds trust between law enforcement and the community.
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Program (Shepard/Byrd Hate Crimes Program) supports state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies in their outreach to and education for the public about hate crimes. The program also supports victims, agency staff, and partners who have been impacted by these crimes. Further, the program provides support to reimburse extraordinary expenses associated with the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.
Hate crimes (sometimes called bias-motivated crimes) are criminal offenses motivated by some form of bias toward victims on the basis of their perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.
- To increase public awareness and reporting of hate crimes.
- To enhance law enforcement and prosecution strategies to prevent and respond to hate crimes in order to bring justice for victims and stakeholders impacted by these crimes.
- Build strong collaborations between law enforcement and prosecution and community-based organizations, including schools, colleges, and universities, to provide outreach and education to persons and groups at risk for hate crimes.
- Expand and enhance strategies, including tools, policies, and procedures, to increase the reporting, identification, and charging of hate crimes, including victim reporting.
- Enhance the capacity of law enforcement and prosecutors to prevent and address hate crimes through education, training, and tools for the field to investigate and prosecute hate crime cases.
- Enhance collaboration between federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecution agencies in their investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.