PH International

The ZANG U.S. based Exchange Program

Armenia | ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project | 7 Sep 2010

From August 19 – August 29 a group of 3 ZANG project key ministerial partners Nelli Duryan, Head of Juvenile Police Department, RA Police, Lala Ghazaryan, Head of Department of Protection of Children, Women and Families, RA Ministry of Labour and Social Issues; Narine Hovhannisyan, Head of the General Education Department of the RA Ministry for Education and Science, together with ZANG Program Manager Armine Sukiasyan and PHI Armenia Country Director Mariam Martirosyan travelled to the U.S. to work with their American counterparts in a 10-day exchange program.

The exchange program aimed to help the participants: (a) further cultivate productive partnerships around juvenile justice among these ministries; (b) witness first-hand the most successful areas of juvenile delinquency prevention and management in the U.S.; (c) revitalize and enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities on essential policies and field work related to youth education, social care and justice systems; (d) design a multi-stockholder plan regarding the sustainability of the ZANG CJCs and the future extension of this model throughout all Armenia; and (e) learn more about the fundamental aspects of School Resource Officer programming in the U.S. in preparation for the launching of the SRO component in 10 Armenian secondary high schools upon their return.

The program included visits to the Vermont Police Academy, Montpelier High School, Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center, Winooski Community Justice Center, Community Conference Center in Baltimore, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention in Washington, DC. The Armenian delegation found the meetings very informative and helpful. At all the meetings they had an opportunity not only to ask questions but also share their experiences. As the program progressed, the participants debriefed and reflected on it and came up with suggestions on how they can best utilize their new ideas. At the end of the program the Armenian delegation visited the Department of State and had roundtable discussion at the International Narcotics & Law Enforcement Bureau. PHI staff and ZANG program partners provided an overview of the ZANG Program and shared the successes and challenges of the program implementation in Armenia over the past 7 years. The discussion also focused on how this model can be taken to other countries as well. Considering the ZANG program successes, PHI staff and INL officers are currently working on implementing a similar program in Montenegro.