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ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project
Country: Armenia
Dates: 02.09.2003 - 15.03.2013

ZANG Program brochure

Program Final Independent Evaluation

The ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization Project,  funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), inroduced legal education to Armenian schools and established collaboration between educators and law enforcement professionals who work with youth. In and out of school, the program encouraged cooperative partnerships between law enforcement, educators and community organizations for positive change in areas of public safety, crime prevention, and civic society development. Among its outstanding achievements, ZANG introduced legal education curriculum in schools, introduced new concepts for prevention and restorative justice approaches, raised awareness of the broader community about juvenile justice issues, and helped create Community Justice Centers in Armenia.

Success Stories
06.09.2010 | A hiking Tour to Goshavanq and More
On August 15, the Vanadzor Community Justice Center (CJC) team organized a hiking event for the CJC kids. The hiking program included visits to Goshavanq, meaning Monastery of Gosh named after famous Armenian scholar and priest Mkhitar Gosh, and the geological museum located in the village of Gosh and a nice picnic by the lake next to the village. In addition to the Vanadzor CJC juveniles, active SRB (School-Based Reparative Boards) members of Vanadzor secondary school # 5, as well as the CJC volunteers and partners participated in the event. The Vanadzor CJC team members facilitated discussions on offences and different types of punishment based on the code of laws written in the 12th century in the code of laws by Mkhitar Gosh and compared it to the modern criminal code of Armenia. The highlights of the day were trustful and friendly relationship observed between one of the offenders undergoing the CJC reparative process and the victim who suffered from the offence and who was also invited to hike with the group. Also, the CJC kids and the SRB members decided to make a film using one of the fables of Mkhitar Gosh. The film making idea created a great opportunity to develop long-term collaboration among the participants of the hiking event.

15.01.2010 | ZANG Community Justice Centers
Throughout 2006-2010, within the framework of the Armenian National Program for Child Protection of Juvenile Police, PH International in close collaboration with the Armenian Police has been implementing the Community Justice Centers’ project for Armenian juveniles. Six Community Justice Centers (CJC) currently operate in Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Alaverdi, Ijevan and Chambarak. Through active partnerships among law enforcement officials, juvenile service programs, the community and youth the CJCs implement restorative justice programming for juvenile offenders of non-violent crimes. The activities of the CJCs aim to reduce youth delinquency and crime, and support public safety. To date, 356 juveniles were referred to the CJCs and the majority of youth undergoing the ZANG CJC reparative process showed significant changes in their behavior along with better attendance and performance at school as reported by their parents and teachers. One of the recent highlights of the ZANG program was the acknowledgement letter received from the director of the Chambarak Library:
17.09.2009 | SMILE Project in Vanadzor Community Justice Center
In June 2009 Lilit Matsakyan, ECA alumni, and Davit Martirosyan, Restorative Board member in Vanadzor Community Justice Center (CJC) of the ZANG Armenian Legal Socialization program jointly applied to a mini SMILE project grant announced by IREX. They were awarded with $244 to implement a project called Helping Youth for Better Communities which aimed at reinforcing healthy and mutually caring relationships between youth at risk and socially more protected youth groups of the community.

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