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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 21, 2021.
COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act
This bill requires a designated officer or employee of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to facilitate the expedited review of hate crimes and reports of hate crimes.
DOJ must issue guidance for state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies on establishing online hate crime reporting processes, collecting data disaggregated by protected characteristic (e.g., race or national origin), and expanding education campaigns.
Additionally, DOJ and the Department of Health and Human Services must issue guidance aimed at raising awareness of hate crimes during the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.
The bill establishes grants for states to create state-run hate crimes reporting hotlines. It also authorizes grants for states and local governments to implement the National Incident-Based Reporting System and to conduct law enforcement activities or crime reduction programs to prevent, address, or respond to hate crimes.
Finally, in the case of an individual convicted of a hate crime offense and placed on supervised release, the bill allows a court to order that the individual participate in educational classes or community service as a condition of supervised release.