Ziyad Hopkins, Ian S. Axford Fellow in Public Policy recently returns from NZ

Ziyad Hopkins, a Youth Advocacy Division attorney and 2015 Ian S. Axford Fellow in Public Policy, recently returned from studying New Zealand’s juvenile justice system.  Widely hailed as a leading system, New Zealand imbues restorative justice principles into its response to youth in conflict with the law.  For the last twenty-five years, New Zealand has focused on diversion and de-carceration of young people.  At the center of its system, the family group conference is a process where young people, their families and supporters come together with representatives of the state and complaining witnesses to actively engage in creating a plan to address the circumstances of the young person.  The family group conference is often cited as the sustained and comprehensive restorative justice system.  His final report, describes a process that has much to emulate, as well as areas of opportunity to improve the administration of justice through increased access to counsel.  The New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, Youth Policy Team supported Ziyad and he worked with the Ministries of Social Development and Justice, both of which are engaged in a review of their youth justice sector.  The office of Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew J. Becroft was instrumental as well.  

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