Criminal Justice Bias Crime Several Term Paper

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5. Police and department decisions play a major role in the reliability and validity of hate crime data because they are the ones who classify and define hate crimes, and then send the data to the UCR. If a police department has very vague or confusing classifications and definitions, they may not report all hate crimes, or even recognize certain crimes as hate crimes. In that case, the crimes are underreported or even ignored, and the department is responsible for this. In addition, departments may fear their own self-preservation if they report too many hate crimes, so, they underreport them to "preserve" the department. For example, studies show that prosecutions are rare in hate crime cases, so departments may feel that reporting a hate crime will result in little justice in the justice system, and so, they will not report the crime as a hate crime. In addition, often violence against women is not categorized as a hate crime, although many experts believe it should be, and so it is not reported as such.

6. Police departments impact the reporting habits of individual police officers by setting the standards for hate crimes and their reporting. If a department places a very low value on hate crime, then the officers place a low value on the crime as well, which means hate crimes may go unreported or even ignored. This impacts prosecution and the intent of the law just as ignoring or downplaying any other crime would do, because the crimes are not reported or recognized as hate crimes, and punished accordingly.

7. Most people believe that rehabilitation and education are the best punishments for hate crimes. In fact, incapacitation and retribution may lead to continued hate crimes, as the perpetrators simply feel even more like victims of a society that is biased toward the people they hate. The merit of education and rehabilitation is that it may ultimately reduce hate crimes and those who commit them, but the weakness is that it may not deter the crimes, and the perpetrators may not truly be rehabilitated or convinced that hate…

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