The University of New Hampshire will receive about $840,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice to complete a national study on hate crimes.
Lisa Jones, research associate professor of pshycology at UNH, is head investigator on the project. She says the FBI has a program where it collects information on hate crime statistics from local law enforcement. But reporting from those local agencies is voluntary.
"Over the past few years about -- I would say -- 80-90 percent of law enforcement agencies report no hate crimes,” Jones says. “And this includes some large jurisdictions that have a lot of crime, where you would expect rates to be higher."
The project will include a survey of 3,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and some 250 prosecutors.
Jones says the hope is that her work over three years will lead to more transparent reporting as well as training for officers who may not know what should be recorded as a hate crime in the first place.