Alan Markwart has helped shape youth justice legislation, programs and services in BC and Canada
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) will present a Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa, to Alan Markwart, in recognition of his 40 years of leadership in youth justice in British Columbia and across Canada.
“It is our privilege to honour a provincial and national expert and leader in youth justice who has played an integral part in shaping related legislation, programs and services in BC and Canada,” said Dr. Michel Tarko, JIBC President and CEO. “In addition to developing and implementing both the current Youth Criminal Justice Act and its predecessor, Alan Markwart has been an ongoing supporter of JIBC’s Corrections Academy throughout its 40-year history as a subject matter expert and advisor.”
Markwart became a BC probation officer in the early 1970s. His subsequent work with BC Corrections included posts as a policy analyst and director of the Victoria Youth Custody Centre. For 20 years he was the BC representative to several national, provincial and territorial committees on youth justice. He led the implementation in BC of both the Young Offenders Act in the 1980s and its replacement, the Youth Criminal Justice Act in the early 2000s. His research and advocacy helped to promote and develop that new legislation.
While serving as Assistant Deputy Minister for the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development, he led the implementation of community-based alternatives to custody – such as intensive support and supervision, restorative justice, and mental health and substance use treatment programs – and the deinstitutionalization of youth justice services.
Markwart’s extensive work related to children and youth did not stop upon his retirement from the provincial government in 2013. Just two years later he joined the BC Office of the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY). In 2018 he was appointed Acting Deputy Representative for Children and Youth.
Throughout his career, Alan Markwart has demonstrated a passion for youth issues and has been recognized with numerous honours. These include the Corrections Exemplary Service Award (2006), BC Premier’s Award (2007), the RCY’s Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence (2009), BC Community Achievement Award (2012), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013), and the Spirit of John Howard Award (2015).
The 2019 Spring Convocation ceremony will be held at the New Westminster campus on June 13 and will recognize approximately 320 graduates who have completed certificates, diplomas and degrees at JIBC.