· DiNitto, D. M., & Johnson, D. H. (2016).
Social welfare: Politics and public policy (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
· Chapter 11, “The Challenges of a Diverse Society: Gender and Sexual Orientation” (pp. 427–470)
· Lind, A. (2004).
Legislating the family: Heterosexist bias in social welfare policy frameworksLinks to an external site.
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 31(4), 21–35. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/jrlsasw31&div=45&id=&page=
· United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. (n.d.).
About LGBTI people and human rightsLinks to an external site.
. Retrieved from https://www.ohchr.org/en/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity/about-lgbti-people-and-human-rights
· United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner. (2017b).
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Links to an external site.
Retrieved from http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Pages/UDHRIndex.aspx
A Prosecutor’s Stand video in the Learning Resources and focus on the “People of the State of California v. Lionel Jackson, Maurice J. Perry” segment that tells the story of Mia Tu Mutch.
· Describe your state’s laws on hate crimes and which groups are included in the law.
· Explain whether there are certain groups you feel should be afforded special protection. Explain why or why not.
· If your state does not have a hate crime law, explain how you as a social worker could advocate for such a law.
· If your state does have a hate crime law, explain how you as a social worker could help advocate for similar laws elsewhere.
Respond to two colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
· Compare the laws in your state or community with your colleague’s laws.
· Offer a suggestion for how your colleague could add or strengthen laws in their state or community.
· Identify strategies for advocacy or implementation of laws from your colleague’s post that you could apply.
Hate crimes are criminal offenses committed against individuals or groups based on their race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other protected characteristics (Steen et al., 2017). Hate crimes not only cause harm to individuals but also have a broader impact on the targeted communities, creating fear and insecurity. This response will focus on the hypothetical scenario of being a social worker in a state with hate crime laws, exploring the state’s laws on hate crimes, groups included in the law, the idea of affording special protection to certain groups and advocating for such laws both within and outside the state.
State’s Laws on Hate Crimes and Included Groups:
In the hypothetical state, hate crime laws likely exist, defining hate crimes and enhancing penalties for crimes motivated by hate or bias. The laws may include provisions that cover various protected characteristics, such as race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and national origin (Steen et al., 2017). These laws serve as a deterrent against hate-motivated offenses and provide a legal framework for prosecuting offenders.
Special Protection for Certain Groups:
As a social worker, the belief in the equal value and rights of all individuals is paramount. Special protection should be afforded to groups that historically face disproportionate levels of violence, discrimination, and marginalization. This may include marginalized racial and ethnic minorities, religious groups facing persecution, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, and immigrants (Steen et al., 2017). Special protections acknowledge the historical and current vulnerabilities these groups experience and aim to create a safer and more inclusive society.
Advocating for Hate Crime Laws in a State without Such Laws:
Suppose the hypothetical state does not have hate crime laws in place. In that case, as a social worker, there are several strategies to advocate for the implementation of such laws:
a. Raise Awareness: Educate the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders about the prevalence and impact of hate crimes. Utilize data and case studies to demonstrate the need for hate crime legislation (Dunlop et al., 2022).
b. Coalition Building: Collaborate with community organizations, advocacy groups, and other social workers to form a strong coalition advocating for hate crime laws.
c. Engage with Lawmakers: Meet with local and state lawmakers to discuss the importance of hate crime legislation and present evidence supporting its implementation.
d. Mobilize the Community: Organize rallies, town hall meetings, and other public events to gather support from the community and demonstrate the widespread demand for hate crime laws.
e. Media Campaign: Utilize various media platforms to raise awareness and generate public support for hate crime legislation.
f. Lobbying Efforts: Engage in lobbying activities to influence policymakers and gain their support for hate crime laws.
g. Work with Law Enforcement: Collaborate with law enforcement agencies to provide training on recognizing and responding to hate crimes effectively.
Advocating for Similar Laws Elsewhere:
If the state already has hate crime laws, as a social worker, one can advocate for similar laws in other states or jurisdictions:
a. Knowledge Sharing: Share information and best practices from the state’s hate crime laws with social workers, activists, and policymakers in other regions.
b. National Advocacy: Engage with national organizations advocating for hate crime legislation to influence federal policies and encourage states to adopt similar laws.
c. Collaborate with Networks: Work with social work networks, human rights organizations, and other advocacy groups to promote hate crime laws at the national level.
d. Research and Data Collection: Gather and disseminate data on the effectiveness of existing hate crime laws to support the case for adoption in other regions (Dunlop et al., 2022).
Hate crime laws are crucial for combating discrimination and violence against marginalized communities. As a social worker, advocating for the implementation of such laws in states without them and supporting efforts to expand their reach nationwide can contribute to creating a safer and more just society. By collaborating with diverse stakeholders and leveraging various advocacy strategies, social workers can play a vital role in promoting hate crime legislation and fostering a culture of acceptance and respect for all individuals.
Not in Our Town. (2015, November 30). A prosecutor’s stand [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXLGQsD5vaU
Dunlop, J. M., Chechak, D., Hamby, W., & Holosko, M. J. (2022). Social work and technology: using geographic information systems to leverage community development responses to hate crimes. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 40(3), 201-229.
Steen, J. A., Mann, M., Restivo, N., Mazany, S., & Chapple, R. (2017). Human rights: Its meaning and practice in social work field settings. Social work, 62(1), 9-17.
Describe your state’s laws on hate crimes and which groups are included in the law.
Hate crimes are essentially unlawful acts of bias committed with the intention of inciting further discrimination against members of a protected class. As a result of the State v. Pomianek case in 2015, New Jersey declared bias acts of intimidation unconstitutional (UCLA, 2023, “New Jersey”, para. 1). Since then, many amendments to the statute have been made and additional statutes have been created to allow certain crimes against property to be prosecuted as hate crimes as well. According to New Jersey law, anyone who commits a crime against a person or property may be subject to further punishment if the crime was committed against a person on the basis of their race, color, religious affiliation, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or ethnicity (Grewal, 2019).
Explain whether there are certain groups you feel should be afforded special protection. Explain why or why not.
Members of protected classes should be afforded special protection against hate crimes because bias intent is relevant to the extent of damage a crime causes and the perpetrators likelihood of committing future crimes. In the video, Victor Huang explains: “hate crimes are message-oriented crimes because they have a greater impact than the violence upon a particular individual” (Not in Our Town, 2015, 10:48). Members of a protected class who witness or become aware of a hate crime committed within their community may be triggered by the event. For example, a black person witnessing a violent hate crime against another black person may feel unsafe going out in public spaces afterward. Hate crimes can be traumatic for all members of a particular group, regardless of the extent of their involvement as victims of the crime. Hate crimes can also insight other perpetrators to begin committing hate crimes, causing further endangerment to members of protected classes. Hate crimes must be taken seriously under the law to prevent unlawful acts of violence from occurring in the future.
Explain how you as a social worker could help advocate for similar laws elsewhere.
Examining the element of bias is necessary when prosecuting crimes because prevents the occurrence of bias incidents and helps to protects marginalized group members from becoming victims in the future. As a social worker, I can advocate for hate crime laws in other states by examining welfare reform policies for bias and expressing my stance (Lind, 2004). I will support policies that help to empower protected classes and publish evidence-based research that provides policy-makers with the information they need to create socially conscious change. I will also oppose policies that fail to consider bias and further systemic oppression of protected class members. Most importantly, I will remain open to the opinions of others and engage professionally in discussions by offering my experiences as a social worker and facts that support my perceptions.
Grewal, G. S. (2019, April 5). Attorney General’s bias incident investigation standards. New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/Bias-Invest-Standards_040519.pdf
Lind, A. (2004). Legislating the family: Heterosexist bias in social welfare policy frameworks. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 31(4), 21–35. Retrieved from http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/jrlsasw31&div=45&id=&page=
Not in Our Town. (2015, November 30). A prosecutor’s stand. [Video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXLGQsD5vaU
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. (2023, October 16). Hate Crimes: State Statutes and Contacts: New Jersey – North Dakota. Retrieved from https://libguides.law.ucla.edu/c.php?g=589923&p=4078041
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