Written by IARS Justice Intern, Faris Wong

As a student, who is majoring in Sociology and Economics in university, my interest has always been in doing research and in policy making. At IARS, I have been given the opportunity to apply my knowledge in research as well as learn more about how we can use our studies to influence policy and tackle important social issues that we face today. The experience gained in this organisation has only made me more passionate about pursuing a career in social policy in the future.

During the past three months as a Justice Intern, I have helped with two projects, namely St James Street and Protasis. St James Street project aims to find out the causes of antisocial behaviour, and subsequently, reduce it in the neighbourhood, while Protasis aims to train the police in European countries to better meet victims’ needs by ensuring rights and access to justice. In both projects, my role was to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data in a meaningful way, and to find solutions to problems faced. Working in these two projects has helped me to understand how societal changes can start from the bottom up, and how everyone should be empowered to help shape the society they want to live in. It also allowed me to apply skills, which I learnt from school. Working in Justice has also exposed me to new interesting concepts, such as restorative justice, a system of justice based on reconciling victims and offenders. It opened my eyes to alternative ways of looking at crime and punishment.

The IARS team is small and everyone is usually busy working away, yet there is always time for chat and laughter, which really brings life to the office. Everyone is so friendly and nice to work with. Some days may be slow, but work is never boring, and there is always something to work on. I am grateful for the opportunity to intern here and will definitely miss the IARS team.