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From New Zealand to Red Hook

A nearly-9000 mile journey has brought Julia Spelman from New Zealand to Red Hook for the next three months as part of a collaborative internship between the Justice Center and the Center for Court Innovation's Domestic Violence and Family Court Programs department. Because we have a specialized approach to criminal justice, we are in a unique position to develop streamlined and innovative approaches to supporting victims of domestic violence and holding perpetrators of domestic violence accountable. Additionally, because Red Hook is a laboratory for innovations in criminal justice, it is a setting ripe for the exploration of alternative interventions for defendants beyond traditional approaches. The need for innovation in this area is especially important given that Brooklyn has the highest number of domestic violence incidents within the five boroughs. During her internship, Julia will be exploring opportunities to enhance, expand, and innovate Red Hook's approaches to intimate partner violence.

Julia grew up in Wellington and Auckland before completing a BA/LLB (Hons) at Victoria University of Wellington. Julia is of Ngati Hikairo descent and has a strong interest in indigenous legal issues in New Zealand and also in Canada, where she spent a semester on exchange in 2009 at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. Following graduation, Julia was a judge's clerk for the Principal Family Court Judge and was admitted to the bar in 2012. She is part of the group that founded JustSpeak, a youth based NGO in New Zealand that contributes to criminal justice policy, issues press releases, engages with politicians, and runs interactive forums and camps for young people who want to be involved in the debate about the criminal justice system.

Julia is also blogging about her experiences here in Red Hook. Take a peek at a New Zealander's view of our work here.


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