The Matthew Shepard Act allows the federal government to assist states in prosecuting hate crimes. Many states have their own hate crime laws, but the Matthew Shepard Act allows the U.S. Department of Justice to provide funding to states for investigating or prosecuting hate crimes that result in death or bodily harm to targeted people. The federal government may also take the lead in this investigation or prosecution as necessary (Human Rights Campaign, 2009). Human rights advocates point out that one of the positive outcomes of the Matthew Shepard Act may be increased support for school programs for raising awareness and preventing hate crimes among juveniles (Dillman, 2009).
For this Assignment, select a law or policy inspired by a case involving victims described in the Interactive Community. You can use the law or policy you selected for the Discussion or you may choose a new one. Identify the jurisdiction where the law is implemented and consider the impact of the law on law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections system.
The Assignment (2–3 pages):
- Visit the Interactive Community and follow the instructions to access this week’s media.
- Briefly describe the law or policy you selected.
- Explain whether the law or policy is implemented at the local, state, and/or federal level(s).
- Explain how the law or policy impacts law enforcement, the courts, and the corrections system.