Governor's Task Force on Bias-Motivated Crimes

In September 1989 Governor Terry E. Branstad convened a Task Force to examine and report on bias-motivated crimes (hate crimes) in Iowa. He requested that the group make recommendations to develop a governmental strategy for reducing the incidence of bias-motivated crimes.

The Task Force was composed of a representative of the Governor's Office, top executives of the Departments of Public Safety, Education, Human Rights, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, and the co-chairs of the Iowa Coalition Against Hate Crimes. The Task Force heard testimony from a number of people representing a variety of constituencies including law enforcement; independent colleges and state universities; schools; victims; and civil and human rights organizations.

The final report of the Task Force, which was submitted to the Governor on January 3, 1991, recommended a comprehensive community based program to educate Iowans about the benefits of open and receptive communities: that the values of cultural diversity, multi-cultural living, and openness to diverse populations are Iowa's future.

The educational effort would include brochures, posters, billboards, and radio and television public service announcements. The schools would also be involved in learning how to respond to bias-motivated crimes in the schools and in developing related curricula for students. Other recommendations were the creation of a program and package of materials for communities to use in responding to bias-motivated incidents and crimes and the establishment of a central speaker's bureau. In addition, each of the agencies who participated in the Task Force would carry out a prescribed education and information program.

1991 Annual Report Main Page