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Young racists and victims come face to face in new justice scheme

Sep 30, 2013

from the article on Bristol24-7:

...Claimed to be the first of its kind in the country, the scheme aims to tackle hate crimes among the city’s young people.

Young people aged 16 to 24 who have acted in a racist or prejudicial way will be brought together with their victims in a controlled setting to talk about what happened between them and how a similar situation can be prevented.

Young people aged 16 to 24 who have acted in a racist or prejudicial way will be brought together with their victims in a controlled setting to talk about what happened between them and how a similar situation can be prevented.

The scheme is funded by Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, and delivered by local organisations Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) and Restorative Solutions.

“This is a really exciting project for Bristol. We know a high proportion of offenders of race hate are young people aged 16 to 25,” said Alex Raikes, assistant director of SARI.

“We believe by supporting the perpetrator to understand the damage they have done to another human being we can make a real difference.”

In the process, a trained facilitator meets the person who caused the harm to talk about what happened and what they think they can do to make things better. They will then be given the opportunity to meet the person who they have abused face to face. The process is voluntary and, if both parties agree, a conference is arranged at which each party can invite friends or family for support.

It is claimed the process helps both victims and perpetrators come to terms with abuse and reduces the risk of similar incidents happening again.

Assistant mayor Cllr Simon Cook said: “There is a national and local commitment to address hate crime and offending behaviour through education and restorative solutions. This project complements our other work and will help to continue to drive down crime and anti-social behaviour across the city.

Read the full article.

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