IARS is pleased to announce the final report of the Restore: Respect project. Over the course of last 12 months, IARS in partnership with Restorative Solutions have been delivering the Restore: Respect project funded by the Home Office. The project focused on education and awareness surrounding restorative justice and hate crimes through training and restorative discussions with participants. The project focused on the engagement of young people who have been victims of hate crimes in the West Yorkshire area in the UK, where instances of hate crimes involving young people nearly doubled from 2015-2016. In total, 23 young people aged 16-24 and 8 practitioners who work with organisations that support BAME individuals, who are victims of hate crimes, participated in the project.

The project’s main goals were to reduce long-term offending and re-offending, increase the awareness of restorative justice approaches as a way to deal with hate crimes, and ultimately, create greater community cohesion. This has been achieved through various activities and workshops, which aimed to engage young people in education surrounding hate crimes and the creation of restorative approaches that would primarily relate to other young people. The project was successful in increasing both the young people and the practitioners’ awareness in how to report hate crimes, with over 90% of young people and 100% of practitioners feeling confident in their ability to report by the end of the project.

The Restore: Respect project placed a heavy emphasis on the young people’s engagement in creating restorative approaches to address hate crimes. Over the 12-month period that the project was delivered, the group of young participants successfully created five restorative interventions, which aimed to promote restorative justice as a way to tackle hate crimes. The young people then presented these interventions at the Hate Crime Final Event near the end of the project on the 17th of October 2018. During the Final Event, the young people presented a poster, which they had designed and developed to encourage others to report hate crimes. Many of the participants of the Hate Crime Final Event shared positive feedback about the young people’s initiatives, most of them commenting on the excitement and level of dedication the group had for the work they had produced.

The Restore: Respect project also proved to be successful in increasing levels of empowerment among participants. Following the Final Event of the project, 90% of participants reported that they felt as though their confidence and sense of empowerment had increased due to the project. This increase has, in turn, reduced the feeling of isolation for victims of hate crimes and promoted a sense of community cohesion.

In the future, the Restore: Respect project should be replicated and implemented nationwide in order to increase awareness about hate crimes as well as to gather additional data on issues which may currently be overlooked.  Additionally, long-term goals of the project may be examined by a continuation of the study. One such goal would be to examine the effect of increased victim empathy to help improve community cohesion after 6 to 12 months’ time.

To see the full report on the efficacy of the Restore: Respect project, please see the document below.

 

Written by our Justice & Youth Projects Intern Jordyn McAtee

 

The poster designed by young people