National Coalition for the Homeless recommends that the following actions
A public statement by the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledging that
hate crimes and/or violence against people experiencing homelessness is
a serious national trend.
The Justice Department would issue guidelines
for local police on how to investigate and work with people experiencing
homelessness based on recommendations from the National Coalition for
the Homeless. The Justice Department would recommend improvements to state
law on how to better protect against violence directed against people
experiencing homelessness, including tougher penalties.
A database to be maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice,
in cooperation with the National Coalition for the Homeless, to track
hate crimes and/or violence against people experiencing homelessness.
Inclusion of housing status in
the pending state and federal hate crimes legislation. Pending federal
bill is the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005 (H.R.
2662 in the U.S. House of Representatives; S.1145 in the U.S. Senate--109th
at police academies and departments nationwide for trainees and police
officers on how to deal effectively and humanely with people experiencing
homelessness in their communities.
A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study
into the nature and scope of hate crimes and/or violent acts and crimes
that occur against people experiencing homelessness. This proposed study
will address the following:
Causes of hate crimes/violence.
Circumstances that contribute
to or were responsible for the perpetratorsí behavior.
Beliefs held by the perpetrators
of these crimes and how their beliefs have changed since conviction.
Thoughts and advice from
the perpetrators to others who are considering hate crimes/violence against
the homeless population.
Community education, prevention
and law enforcement strategies.