Jack Calhoun has been on his policy walk for more than 50 years working at every level – from tough street corners to an appointment as “Chief Kid for the Country” as President Carter’s Commissioner of the U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families – to help light the paths to safer communities, stronger families and thriving youth.
As the founder and president of the National Crime Prevention Council, Jack helped to redefine crime prevention from a focus on protection and detention to a mindset of hope: preventing crime, engaging youth and enhancing quality of life by building vital communities that don’t produce crime.
An innovator and leader first inspired by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jack has launched several programs that have changed the face – and the policies – of prevention, intervention, support of youth and families, and rehabilitation of offenders. From creating the Office of Domestic Violence Prevention and the Office for Families on the federal level to creating pre-trial diversion programs and victim/victimizer reconciliation initiatives, he has touched the lives and moved the hearts of many along his path. His pioneering work helped to firmly established the faith community as a partner in crime prevention and community building activities through FASTEN, The Faith and Service Technical Education Network.
As Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts, he demonstrated to the state – and the nation – that most juvenile offenders could be successfully rehabilitated in a wide variety of highly accountable community-based settings.
Jack ran the McGruff the Crime Dog® “Take a Bite Out of Crime®” campaign for 20 years, building it into one of the most successful public service advertising campaigns in American history.
While serving as the Senior Consultant to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families, Jack founded and directed the California Cities Violence Prevention Network. The groundbreaking initiative brought comprehensive strategies – the blending of prevention, intervention, enforcement and reentry into a single, citywide plan – to a new level. The Network became the template for the U.S. Justice Department’s 15-city National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. Jack currently serves as Senior Consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice for the National Forum.
Jack was a moderator for the Aspen Institute Executive Seminar Program for more than a decade and has lectured at universities across the country, including Harvard, Fordham, Penn, Baylor and more. He continues to be a sought-after moderator and keynote speaker. Jack is the author of two previous books, numerous articles, nationally published editorials, and tool kits designed for his fellow policy walkers.
Married for more than 40 years to his wife Ottilia, Jack is a proud father of two and smitten grandfather of four. He enjoys gardening, travel, tennis, photography, and is a piano player best enjoyed by people with impaired hearing. Jack resides in the National Capital Area.
John A. Calhoun
2010 – Present Senior Consultant U.S. Department of Justice and Development Service Group, Inc., for National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention
2006 – 2015 Senior Consultant to National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families Founder & Director California Cities Violence Prevention Network
2011 Author Through the Hourglass: Poems of Life and Love
2004 – 2006 Author Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America
1983 – 2004 President and CEO, National Crime Prevention Council
2001 Doctor of Humane Letters (Honorary), Heidelberg College
1986 Master in Public Administration with Honors, Littauer Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
1981 – 1982 Vice President, Child Welfare League of America
1979 – 1981 Presidential Appointee, Commissioner, U.S. Administration for Children, Youth and Families
1976 – 1979 Gubernatorial Appointee, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services
1973 – 1976 Executive Director, Justice Resource Institute
1970 – 1973 Vice President, Technical Development Corporation
1966 – 1970 Project Officer, Action for Boston Community Development
1965 – 1966 Teacher, Elementary Education, Inner City Philadelphia, PA
1963 – 1965 Master of Divinity, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
1958 – 1963 BA, Brown University
2012 Award of Recognition, U.S. Department of Justice, National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention
2011 Leader, Visionary Award from Justice Resource Institute
2004 Lifetime Achievement Award for “Extraordinary Contributions to and Outstanding Service to Youth, Their Families and Communities in America and Throughout the World.” Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
2002 Spirit of Crazy House Award – Reclaiming Youth International Youth Advocate of the Year
1998 Award of Recognition winner, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
1979 Official Citation from the Massachusetts State Senate for “Outstanding and Dedicated Service to Children and Families of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1979 Award of recognition from U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell for Urban Court (Restorative Justice)
1978 Recipient of the American Arbitration Association Award of Recognition