cover image Hate Crimes

Hate Crimes

Jack McDevitt, Jack Levin. Da Capo Press, $23.95 (287pp) ISBN 978-0-306-44471-5

Levin, a professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, and McDevitt, the associate director of the Center for Applied Resarch at the same school, report that hate crimes against women, ethnic and racial minorities and homosexuals are on the rise, although they note that the statistics may show an increase because more such crimes are now reported. They argue that ``hatred is hip,'' as shown by the popularity of bigoted comics and heavy metal and rap groups; they point out that many perpetrators of hate crimes were raised in violent homes and harbor deep resentments, and that they may be seeking thrills or something to do, or that they may believe they are ridding the world of evil. In a study that lacks comprehensive analysis, Lewin and McDevitt maintain that prison probation and community service as punishment for hate crimes have not proved effective, and they conclude that the answer lies in community response. (May)