ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL URGES THE FBI TO RECOGNIZE NONBINARY INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING PROGRAM
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 20 attorneys general in urging the FBI to add a new, nonbinary gender designation to its Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system to affirm the gender identity of nonbinary individuals who are the victims of crimes and to improve the accuracy of federal and state crime data collection.
The FBI generates national crime statistics by asking law enforcement agencies across the country to submit crime data to the UCR program – which currently allows only male or female gender designations. As a result, law enforcement agencies encounter errors if they attempt to submit crime incident data in which individuals have been identified as nonbinary.
In today's letter to FBI Director Christopher W. Wray, Raoul and the coalition asked that the FBI act swiftly to add an "X" gender code, indicating that an individual is nonbinary, to the UCR system to allow the states to affirm nonbinary individuals' gender identities when collecting and sharing crime data.
"Adding a nonbinary gender designation to the UCR would not only allow for more accurate crime data collection, but, more importantly, would affirm the gender identities of crime victims as part of a larger effort to support and advocate for the rights of transgender and gender-non-conforming people," Raoul said. "I urge the FBI to take this important step to protect nonbinary victims of crime."
In the letter, Raoul and the coalition observe that the lack of a nonbinary gender designation in the UCR is "more than a ministerial inconvenience," as refusing to recognize nonbinary individuals' gender identity in crime reporting is an affront to their dignity and may cause harm to their mental health and well-being. Adding a nonbinary gender option would affirm the rights of nonbinary individuals, who are frequently marginalized and made to feel invisible.
The current lack of a nonbinary gender code in the UCR discourages law enforcement agencies from collecting data that accurately reflects the gender of nonbinary individuals, as the UCR system rejects data containing gender codes other than male and female. Those agencies that do recognize nonbinary individuals' gender in their crime data systems must either incur the cost of revising their data before submitting it to the UCR, or underreport crime incidents when the UCR rejects some of their data.
In addition to eliminating these logistical complications, changing the UCR system would also improve the accuracy of the FBI's crime statistics overall by making available information about the criminal victimization of the non-binary population.
Today's letter acknowledges that the FBI has already begun to consider the addition of adding a nonbinary gender designation to the UCR, and calls on the FBI to promptly make this change.
Joining Raoul in the letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico. New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.