PH International

The Bell Tolls On

Armenia | ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project | 14 Apr 2009

Only a month ago, PH International was granted funding from the US Department of State/Bureau of International Narcotics & Law Enforcement to continue the implementation of the ZANG Armenia Legal Socialization project for the next four years. On March 31, PH staff brought together the teams of the six Community Justice Centers of the ZANG program to celebrate the occasion and discuss the program’s future work plan. The meeting began with brief updates from each CJC. The major achievement reported was the fact that the centers continued their reparative processes with juveniles uninterrupted for one month while the DOS grant was being awarded. As of March 2009, overall 220 cases have been heard at ZANG CJCs, with successful juvenile rehabilitation records in the majority of cases.

At the meeting, the CJC team members were introduced to the general outline of the current program and its expectations, focusing on the new components such as university partnerships and diary writing. As part of the reparative process, juveniles will keep diaries that reflect on their rehabilitation experiences. This process will be facilitated with the help of university students from graduate programs in law enforcement, education and social services, who will join the CJCs as interns. This component will not only provide qualitative data on the juveniles’ improvement processes, but it will also create a valuable opportunity to develop CJC-university partnerships.

The meeting also emphasized another important aspect of the CJC activities - their sustainability. It was agreed that the sustainability challenge of sustainability should be primarily addressed through the joint efforts of PH and CJC joint efforts and the CJC local sustainability plans will be developed.

Above all, the participants expressed their enthusiasm and commitment to the CJC project implementation. They were excited to share their successes and challenges, lessons learned and programmatic recommendations. One of the highlights of the day was the presentation made by the Vanadzor CJC team to PH Staff of a bell handmade by CJC Board Member, Gnel Hakobyan. This lovely bell truly symbolizes the resonating care and support youth receive from our Community Justice Centers.

Congratulations and Good Luck to the CJC teams!