Responding to Hate: Police, Prosecutor and Victim Decision-Making in Hate Crime Cases

Katherine A. Culotta, Indiana State University

This study employs qualitative methods in an effort to understand what factors affect case decision-making for hate crimes in a major Midwestern city. More specifically, this research will examine what factors determine victim reporting of hate crimes, officer identification of hate crimes, police arrest for hate crimes and state's attorney decisions to charge for a hate crime. Qualitative analysis is used to explore case files of all hate crimes in 2000 as well as interviews of law enforcement personnel, state's attorneys, city employees, and community group leaders and activists. Through the use of analytic induction of these sources, emerging patterns in the data suggest factors that play a role in the outcome hate crime cases from the reporting stage to the charging stage.

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Updated 05/20/2006