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Responding to Hate Crimes Through Restorative Justice Dialogue.

Vos, Betty
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Contemporary Justice Review. 9(1): 7-21.

Hate promotes violence. Dialogue among conflicting parties and groups is one way to decrease hate and help prevent bias-motivated crimes. Restorative justice has emerged in the last three decades as a means of giving all who are stakeholders in a crime – victims, offenders, and the community to which they belong – a voice in how harm can be repaired and future harm prevented. The present article reports on a two-year study of seven communities that utilized elements of a restorative justice dialogue approach as one component of responding to bias-motivated crimes and hate-charged situations. Following presentation of three case studies, the article highlights the invitational nature of such dialogue, the preparation of participants, and the dialogue process. It also examines factors that influence the dialogue, including the intense impact of hate crimes, the role of the media, and the involvement of outside interest groups. Finally, it explores ways to sustain the dialogue after the crisis recedes. (authors’ abstract)


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