Attorney General Martha Coakley is aggressively seeking court orders that require people accused of hate crimes to stay away from their alleged victims.
According to office statistics, Coakley has obtained 41 civil rights injunctions since she took office in January 2007. Her predecessor obtained 14 in the previous four years.
Coakley tells The Boston Globe that the poor economy, post-9/11 terrorism fears, and more civil rights for gays might have caused hate crimes to rise. She also says many of the injunctions are the result of more aggressive enforcement of Massachusetts civil rights law.
Thirteen of the 41 court orders involved victims targeted because of race or ethnicity, while 10 involved people targeted because of sexual orientation.