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Hate Crime Offenders

The federal government and most states in the United States have passed laws that distinguish crimes based on prejudice against social groups from other crimes (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 591). These crimes have become known as ôhate crimes.ö Although the exact definition of such crimes vary across states, the term ôhate crimesö usually refers to ôunlawful, violent, destructive or threatening conduct in which the perpetrator is motivated by prejudice toward the victimÆsö racial, ethnic or social group (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 591). Generally, criminologists categorize hate crime offenders into thrill-seekers, mission killers, or reactionists.

Criminological understanding of hate crimes takes several approaches. Some criminologists rely upon the socialization model, which focuses on bigotry and the role of hate crimes as an expression of group conflict (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 591). This approach contends that people who commit hate crimes more often come from a dominant group that attempts to terrorize members of a subordinate group or groups to maintain its dominant position (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 591). This socialization perspective views hate crime offenders as different from other criminals in their likelihood to be ômore calculating and future orientedö than other criminals, whom most criminologists agree are more likely to be impulsive and lacking in self-control (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 592).

The socialization perspective also contends that hate crime offenders differ from other criminals in their backgrounds as well. Hate crime offenders may often have some degree of social support, at least among their peer group, and often from their families as well (Messner et. al., 2004, p. 592). Racist æskinheadÆ groups are one example of hate crime offenders that fits into the socialization model. Generally, skinhead groups consist of young, uneducated, white males between the ages of 13 and 24 who have no long...

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Hate Crime Offenders. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:56, June 24, 2019, from