In response to mounting national concern over crimes motivated by bias, Congress enacted the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. The law directs the Attorney General to collect data “about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The Attorney General delegated the responsibility for developing and implementing a hate crime data collection program to the Director of the FBI, who assigned the task to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. In September 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which amended the Hate Crime Statistics Act to include both physical and mental disabilities. The UCR Program began collecting statistics on offenses motivated by bias against physical and mental disabilities in January 1997. The Church Arson Act of 1996 mandated that hate crime data collection become a permanent part of the UCR Program.
The Hate Crime Statistics Act is the first federal statute to recognize and name gay, lesbian and bisexual people. The Hate Crime Statistics Act[i] requires the Attorney General to collect data on crimes committed because of the victim’s race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.
In 1994 Congress expanded the scope to include crimes based on disability, and in 1996 Congress permanently reauthorized the Act.
[i] 28 USC 534