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Office of the
Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

Illinois Attorney General Logo

Rights of the People

Civil Rights

Hate Crimes

A hate crime is an offense where a person or a group of people is targeted because of their actual or perceived identity. Illinois hate crimes laws protect people who are targeted based on characteristics like race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability.

The Attorney General's Office worked with Illinois legislators to enhance Illinois hate crimes laws. Recent amendments:
  • Expand the list of crimes that can be prosecuted as hate crimes in an effort to address the increasing use of technology to attack victims.
  • Ensure that victims of hate crimes have the ability to file a civil lawsuit in response to any hate crime and permits a judge to impose significant civil penalties on the perpetrator.
  • Permit the Attorney General to bring civil hate crime claims after consulting with local prosecutors and seek injunctions and civil penalties against perpetrators.
  • The Attorney General's Office issued guidance to state, county and local law enforcement agencies as well as advocacy organizations about a new, stronger hate crimes law in Illinois that will better protect Illinois residents from hate crimes.
  • Our office will also be offering training to law enforcement entities.

The Attorney General encourages individuals to contact the office to report hate crimes and instances of discrimination or harassment by submitting a complaint using the links below.

If you have questions, you may email the Civil Rights Bureau staff at or call the Civil Rights Hotline at 1-877-581-3692. Translation service via phone is available, upon request.