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Federal Hate Crime Prosecutions, 2005-19

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2021

This report uses data from BJS’s Federal Justice Statistics Program to describe criminal prosecutions over federal hate crimes from 2005 to 2019. It presents the number of hate crimes investigated by U.S. attorneys, percentages of suspects who were prosecuted, and reasons that U.S. attorneys declined to prosecute. It provides statistics on case disposition in federal court, including sentencing outcomes for defendants who were convicted of a hate crime, and an analysis of the federal response to hate crimes. The report relies on existing administrative data received from the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for BJS’s Federal Justice Statistics Program.

  • During the 15-year period of 2005-19, 1,864 hate crime suspects were referred for prosecution to U.S. attorneys from federal judicial districts in all 50 states.
  • Hate crime matters investigated by U.S. attorneys’ offices declined 8%, from 647 during 2005-09 to 597 during 2015-19.
  • The conviction rate for hate crimes increased from 83% during 2005-09 to 94% during 2015-19.
  • About 85% of defendants convicted of a hate crime were sentenced to prison, with an average term of over 7.5 years.

Date Published: July 8, 2021