Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Hate Crimes in Pennsylvania Under Reported (and other states as well)



A week after I posted my Op Ed in the Tribune Democrat on hate groups in Pennsylvania it reprinted an op ed from Pennlive.com on how hate crimes in the state are under reported.  There were a total of 61 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2016.  Adjusting for population the state ranks 47th.  The findings for the article are summarized in the video above.  The article lists two reasons for the under-reporting:

1. A lack of training? Technology or both? 

To recognize and report hate crimes to the FBI via the state police.  Hate crimes are often dropped by the District Attorneys.

2. A weakness in state law.

Crimes against LGBTQIA individuals are not classified as hate crimes by the state or in many municipalities.  

As a response to the lack of reporting Pennlive has teamed up with ProPublica to create it's own database of hate crimes in much the same way that Mother Jones magazine created one for mass shootings in the US.  C-SPAN aired public hearings on hate crime reporting which can be viewed here.

In my own posts I commented on how the lack of correlation between reported hate crimes in a state and the population adjusted numbers of hate groups in a state.  This is reprinted in the graph below.  The one exception for the lack of correlation is the District of Columbia which had both an exceptionally high rate of hate crimes and hate groups.  When DC is excluded this correlation disappears.



There was a correlation between the hate group rates and Trump's % of the vote at the state level (with DC excluded where Trump had 4% of the vote) accounting for 26.5% of the variability in Trump's vote.  This correlation for the hate crime numbers (population adjusted) provides validation for the Southern Poverty Law Center's compilation of them.  The lack of correlation for hate crime numbers suggests that there are under-reported hate crimes in other states besides Pennsylvania.



The high numbers of hate crimes and groups in DC suggests a better mechanism for reporting crimes there.  Unlike other states, there are a small number of agencies to report in DC.  The large minority population there may make these crimes more likely to be reported.  It remains to be seen whether the ProPublica numbers will be more representative of the hate crimes in the US.

**Related Posts**


A Closer look at Hate Crimes in DC, Massachusetts and Washington state: DC has more LGBT Crimes