Preventing youth hate crimes and identity-based bullying
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) launched a comprehensive national initiative to help create safe spaces for youth online, at school, and in their communities
With a focus on prevention and early intervention, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) strives to mitigate identity-based bullying as it impacts youth nationwide. Our team of experts works alongside OJJDP to support this vision through assisting with planning, development, and implementation.
According to the FBI, hate crimes are on the rise. In 2020, the nation experienced a 6% increase in reported hate crimes, with more than 7,500 hate crime incidents involving more than 10,000 victims in just one year. Young people are represented in these numbers both as victims and as perpetrators. Approximately 11% of those who commit hate crimes are under the age of 18.
Recognizing the impact that hate crimes and hate groups have on our nation’s youth, OJJDP sought to launch a national initiative to prevent youth hate crimes and identity-based bullying. OJJDP envisions a multipronged approach that will:
- Increase awareness of youth hate crimes and bias-based bullying
- Identify best practices and evidence-based strategies to build protective factors for youth and help them resist and disengage from extremist hate groups
- Ensure youth have a voice on the topic of hate crime and provide an opportunity for partners to work meaningfully with and for young people
- Provide grantees, interested communities, and the field at large with tools to change the attitude and behavior of young hate-crime offenders and at-risk youth
Our team is operating OJJDP’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC) to help execute the office's vision for this project. On Oct. 27, 2021, OJJDP’s Preventing Youth Hate Crimes and Identity-Based Bullying Initiative officially kicked off with a two-day virtual symposium titled “Understanding and Preventing Youth Hate Crimes and Identity-Based Bullying.” The first day of the symposium included 1,487 participants, and the second day had 1,104 participants.
In addition to the virtual symposium, we're collaborating with OJJDP to support all facets of their work, including:
- A series of 12 webinars, which will provide juvenile justice professionals, law enforcement, and school communities an understanding of youth hate crimes and hate groups along with strategies to prevent hate crimes and mitigate microaggressions and implicit bias
- A multi-phased curriculum that is intended for OJJDP grantees, interested communities, and the field at large to use with targeted youth, including youth in the juvenile justice system and those at risk for involvement
- Roundtable discussions that will be held with youth (including tribal youth) in geographically dispersed locations throughout the country to give youth a voice on the topic of hate crime, engage youth with lived expertise involving hate-based incidents, and provide an opportunity for OJJDP’s partner organizations to work meaningfully with and for young people
- A special report that will synthesize findings from the national youth roundtables, which will include a comprehensive literature review, and will be complete with an associated fact sheet
Where we are now
The Preventing Youth Hate Crimes and Identity-Based Bullying Initiative is underway. The webinar series launched on Nov. 18, 2021, with an introduction of hate crimes and hate groups for school communities. This was followed by another webinar on Dec. 16, 2021—”Creating a Safe School and Community Environment for Youth, Part 1: Strategies and Solutions.” As the project continues, our team will collaborate with OJJDP to focus on developing the curriculum and youth roundtable discussions before culminating with a special report and findings.