New Jersey Bias Report Finds Jews Are Most Targeted Religious Group

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced today the release of a report analyzing final bias incidents statistics in New Jersey in 2021 and 2022. Consistent with national trends, the report shows that incidents of bias and hate remain on the rise and 2022 had the highest number of reported bias incidents since the State began reporting bias incidents nearly three decades ago. Preliminary data for 2023 was also released today, indicating that the upward trend in reported bias incidents has continued – with an initial showing of a 22% increase in reported incidents in 2023 compared to 2022. To help combat the rising tide of bias and hate, a public awareness bias campaign and an interactive bias data dashboard were also launched today.

Attorney General Platkin has made combating bias and hate a top priority and is committed to using every tool and resource available to tackle this problem to ensure that all New Jerseyans are safe and free to live without fear. The Department of Law and Public Safety (LPS) continues to work tirelessly to address the steady rise in reported bias incidents through criminal prosecution, civil enforcement, education, training, outreach, and prevention efforts.

The report released today finds that there were 2,211 bias incidents reported to law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey in 2022, eclipsing the previous record of 1,885 set in 2021. The year 2022 was the seventh consecutive year that the number of reported bias incidents has risen in New Jersey.

In both 2021 and 2022, Black individuals were the most frequent targets of bias incidents. The Jewish community was the religious group most frequently targeted, and the Hispanic or Latinx/e community was the ethnic group most frequently targeted. In 2021, residences were the most frequent locations of bias incidents, while in 2022 bias incidents most frequently occurred in elementary and secondary schools.

The rise in reported bias incidents likely reflects a combination of statewide improvements in reporting and community outreach as well as other factors such as the spread of misinformation and bias on social media platforms, political divisiveness across the nation, and the lingering effects of backlash to the global racial justice movement that began in 2020, as indicated in the 2021-2022 report.

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