ALBANY — Jews were the top targets for hate crimes in New York state last year, followed by blacks, gay men and Hispanics, according to a report by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.
The report analyzed crime data submitted to the state by police agencies from all 62 counties. The results of the state's number-crunching are distilled in an eight-page report made public last week.
The report found that police agencies identified 596 hate crimes throughout New York last year. Jews were targets 36 percent of the time, with blacks targeted 25 percent of the time, gay men, 11 percent, and Hispanics, 4 percent.
The state enacted its hate crimes law in 2000. It enhances the penalties for crimes against people and property if the victims are targeted because of their race, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation.
Police in Orange County recorded eight incidents as hate crimes last year. There were two incidents in Sullivan County and one in Ulster. The New York City borough of Brooklyn recorded the most incidents, followed by Nassau County on Long Island, the borough of Manhattan and Suffolk County, also on Long Island.
The state's report points out that there were 64 convictions from the hate-crimes incidents recorded last year, and of those, "only 10 were convicted of a hate-crime charge."
A DCJS spokeswoman, Janine Kava, cautioned against drawing any sweeping conclusions about the meaning of the conviction statistic.
"It would really be inappropriate to speculate on that, given that prosecution is a local function," Kava said Tuesday. "Each case could have had its own fact pattern, its own reasons for the disposition."