Bias Crimes Information and Protocol
Bias or hate crimes have been a serious problem in our country for numerous years. In response to this problem, organized hate group characteristics have been studied and outlined to help local, state and federal organizations deal with the civil and criminal injustices that they perpetrate. Also, legislation has been enacted to help bias crime victims seek retribution against their attackers. UVM has a bias crime policy and protocol that serves the UVM community by offering a system of redress against bias crimes. Below is information on bias crimes collected from the National Center for hate Crime Prevention, as well as the UVM bias crime protocol.
Organized Hate Groups
Range from loosely structured local groups to highly structured international groups
Leaders tend to project a mainstream image
Skinheads loosely affiliated with these groups, although usually are not official members
Focus on issues on concern to middle America as a cover for their aims
Believe in the inevitability of a global war between the races
Examples include White Aryan Resistance, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis
Hate Group Ideology
Explicitly racist, considering people of color to be subhuman; homophobia recently added to their agenda
Often blame the government, communism, and/or ethnic and racial "conspiracies" for most of this countrys problems
Some include apocalyptic Christianity in their ideology
Often use technological venues, such as cable TV, the World Wide Web, and computer bulletin boards
Some attempt to display a more mainstream political image and might run for office, but the potential for violence is always present
Congregate in large numbers in certain geographical areas (e.g., Pacific Northwest)
History of Organized
Not a new phenomenon; hate groups grow in response to:
periods of increased immigration
attempts by disenfranchised groups to increase political and economic power
periods of economic instability
forces in American political life
Tend to break up because of internal dissension; groups often take names similar to other hate groups
Contemporary Hate Groups
Estimated at no fewer than 20,000 and possibly no more than 50,000 members of white supremacist groups in the United States
State Bias Crime Laws
The majority of states have laws under one or more of the following categories:
Criminalize certain acts committed due to prejudice
Provide enhanced penalties
Include several types of criminal statutes:
1. Intuitional vandalism: Prohibit vandalism and defacement of a variety of locations and instructions, including houses or worship, cemeteries, schools, public monuments, and community center.
2. Bias-motivated violence and intimidation: Make it illegal to intimidate, harass, assault, or trespass on the property of an individual because of the persons race, religion, national origin, and in some states, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
3. Interference with religious worship: Prohibit acts that disrupt an ongoing religious service; they also prohibit stealing a scroll, religious vestment, or other object normally used in a religious service.
Prohibit cross burning or the burning of other symbols
Ban the wearing of hoods, robes, masks, or other disguises in public, except during holidays and parades
Prohibit military-style training camps, such as those sometimes run by racist organizations
of Action Laws
Civil remedies may include injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys fees (these forms of relief may have a significant deterrent effect and should encourage victims to bring civil lawsuits)
Make parents financially liable for their childrens crimes
Require state and/or local police agencies to gather and sometimes disseminate statistics on the incidence of bias crime
Require law enforcement personnel to receive training in identifying, reporting, and investigating bias-motivated crimes
Hate Crime Statistics Act 28 USC Section 534
Signed into law in April 1990; amended in 1994 and 1996
Requires the U.S. Attorney Genera; to collect data and publish an annual summary on crimes that manifest prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or disability.
Data Collection responsibilities were delegated to the FBIs uniform Crime Reports Section.
Helps identify the geographical location and the nature of bias crimes occurring the in the U.S.
Effectiveness of the law depends upon its implementation by and support from state and local law enforcement officials.
42 USC Sections 1981 and 1982: Civil Actions Under the Civil Rights Act of 1866
Both sections of this statute originated in Section 1 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 enacted by Congress shortly after ratification of the 13th Amendment which prohibited slavery.
Section 1981 states that all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall have the same right in every State and territory to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to punishment, pains, penalties, taxes, licenses, and exactions of every kind, and to no other. Injunctive relief is also available.
Section 1982 ensures equal rights for citizens in terms of personal property. Damage awards under both sections often include compensatory damages for emotional distress or humiliation.
42 USC Section 1985 (3): Conspiracy to Deprive and person or Class of Persons of Equal Protection of the Laws was enacted by Congress as part of the Ku Klux Klan Act to provide redress for victims of Klan offenses during Reconstruction. This law imposes civil liability on anyone who conspires to deprive another individual or class of people of the equal protection of the laws or of equal privileges and immunities under the laws. Compensatory and punitive damages can be awarded under this section.
42 USC Section 3617: Interference, Coercion, or Intimidation in Violation of the Fair Housing Act created a statutory civil cause of action for anyone coerced, threatened, intimidated, or interfered with for exercising rights granted under Sections 3603, 3605, or 3606 of the Fair Housing Act, This statute restricts punitive damages to $1,000.
42 USC Section 13981: Violence Against Women Act of 1994 established a federal civil rights cause of action for victims of crimes of violence motivated by gender. The statute makes the offender liable for compensatory damages to the victim and authorizes injunctive and declaratory relief to protect the victim.
18 USC Section 241: Conspiracy Against Rights broadly prohibits conspiracies to injure any person who is exercising rights or privileges protected by the Constitution or laws of the United Sates. The statute has been applied to a variety of federal rights, including the right not to be deprived of life without due process of the law, the right to vote in a federal election, and the right to occupy a housing free of racially motivated violence.
18 USC Section 245: Forcible Interference with Civil Rights/Federally Protected Activities was enacted in 1968 in response to violent attacks on civil rights workers in the South. It prohibits international interference, by force or threat of force, with certain specified constitutional rights where interference is motivated by discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Activities protected under this law include:
enrollment in a public school or college
participation in programs administered or financed by the United States or by a state
federal and state employment and jury service
interstate travel by common carrier
use of restaurants, lodging, gas stations, public entertainment facilities, and other establishments serving the public
18 USC Sections 247 and 248: Damage to Religious Property/Obstruction of Religious Activity prohibits damaging or destroying religious property because of the religious nature of the property, or attempting to do so. Also prohibits intentionally defacing, damaging, or destroying religious property because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of any individual associated with that property.
42 USC Section 3631: Willful Interference with Civil Rights Under the Fair Housing Act prohibits forcible interference with any person in selling, purchasing, renting, financing, occupying, or contracting for any dwelling due to that persons race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
18 USC Section 242: Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law prohibits willful deprivation of constitutional and federal statutory rights, but only those deprived by reason of race, color, or ethnicity. It is most frequently used to prosecute violent misconduct by law enforcement officials, but it can be employed against other officials.
Section 280003 of Public Law 103-22: Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act allows for the imposition of enhanced penalties if a perpetrator commits any Federal crime and chooses the victim on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
University of Vermont Anonymous Bias-related Incident Response Protocol for Occurrences on UVM Grounds or Public Buildings
A reportable incident is one involving harm or damage to person or property, and motivated adversely on account of race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, or other status protected against discrimination under the law that occurs on University grounds and facilities.
Who should report
bias-related incidents or crimes?
A victim or observer of an incident they suspect is bias-related should immediately report it. A University official(s) who learns of an alleged bias-related incident or crime must immediately report it. Police Services makes the determination of what is a bias-related incident or crime.
the bias-related incident or crime be reported?
The University community should notify one of the University's notification points which are Police Services (656-3473), Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AA/EO) (656-3368), Residential Life (656-3434) or Center for Cultural Pluralism (656-8833). All employees in these notification points who staff phones are trained to intake complaints.
What are University
The notification points are designated offices trained to receive complaints of bias-related incidents, and whose university function is directly related to addressing hate problems in both the working and living areas on campus.
Why not other
offices or units?
Anyone or any office in the University community could receive a complaint of a bias-related incident. For example, units such as the ALANA Student Center, Women Center, and International Educational Services might naturally receive information about a bias-related incident or crime. However, any office or person notified of a bias-related incident should then report it to one of the University's four notification points. The purpose of the four notification points is to make every attempt to respond efficiently, as well as have a streamlined and effective process.
when one of the University notification points is contacted?
The notification point contacts Police Services. Again, Police Services makes the determination of what is a bias-related incident or crime.
Why Police Services?
Police Services will serve as the University's central clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of bias-related incident information due to their expertise and requirement to investigate and collect such information.
Police Services distribute the information?
Police Services contacts AA/EO within 24 hours. AA/EO then contacts all appropriate officials and groups listed in the Communication Hub via e-mail within 48 hours. Police Services contacts Physical Plant within 24 hours to manage repairs, if needed. Police Services will distribute a monthly report of bias-related incidents to Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, which will maintain records for federal and state reporting when needed, as well as oversee the University-wide effort to educate and train the campus about bias-related incidents and crimes. In cases where an incident occurs on a weekend or holiday, the appropriate office contacts or responds as the protocol dictates on the next official business day.
What is the
A set of University officials, offices and groups who will be contacted via e-mail.
What would be
In an effort not to re-offend, the campus community will receive a generic description via e-mail, but will have the option of linking to a website that describes the exact incident.
Where can confidential
support be obtained?
Employee Assistance Program (656-2100), Student Health Center (656-3350) and Counseling Center (656-3340). Such support services are provided confidentially to the extent permitted or required by law and each unit's respective confidentiality policy.
Note: When evidence
permits and information is available, the bias incident will be investigated
pursuant to the University's non-discrimination policy irrespective of criminal
action being taken.
(taken from the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Homepage)
Resources for Victims of Anonymous Bias Incidents
466 South Prospect Street
Center for Health and Wellbeing
425 Pearl Street
146 South Williams Street
34 South Williams Street
The ALANA Student
The Center for
The LGBTQA Coalition
Office of International
Living Learning B-161
offers an anonymous e-mail bias crime reporting system, called Silent