Jack Calhoun has spent his entire career working to improve both the lives of those who live on society’s edges and fragile families and neighborhoods from which they come. “Jack” helped found and direct Justice Resource Institute, an organization that pioneered Massachusetts’ pre-trial diversion and restorative justice initiatives. JRI wrote and saw through to passage the nation’s first pre-trial diversion law. As Massachusetts’ Commissioner of the Department of Youth Service, where he chaired the Adolescent and State of the Family Task Forces, he helped to create a comprehensive, community-based juvenile justice system that cut the State’s recidivism rate to an astonishingly-low10%.
In 1979 President Carter appointed him to serve as the U.S. Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, where he oversaw Head Start and programs addressing child abuse, foster care, adoption and domestic violence. He helped to write the landmark Child Welfare and Adoption Act of 1980, which has been called “one of the three most important laws affecting children in the last 100 years.” Subsequently he served as Vice President of the Child Welfare League of America and the first President and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council, where, for almost 21 years, he helped to revolutionize crime prevention by focusing on building vital communities, and through the pioneering Youth as Resources program, he involved almost 400,000 youth across America as positive change agents in their communities.
Jack designed and ran the 13-California City Violence Prevention Network for the National League of Cities, and served as Senior Consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice to help create The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to Development Services Group for the Justice-Department-funded “Role of the Faith Community in Preventing Violence and Building Community.” President Obama’s Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason said, “More than any one person, Jack has shaped the Department of Justice’s approach to juvenile justice.”
In constant demand as a keynote speaker, conference organizer and panel facilitator here and abroad, he has testified before city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and Congress, lectured at major universities, published many articles, served on numerous boards, and is a frequent media guest. He is the author of three books: Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America; Through the Hourglass: Poems of Life and Love, and most recently Policy Walking: Lighting Paths to Safer Communities, Stronger Families and Thriving Youth.
Jack holds a BA from Brown University, a Master’s degree in Theology from the Episcopal Divinity School, a Master’s degree with honors in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Heidelberg College. A recipient of numerous awards, he has been listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO’S WHO IN THE WORLD for more than twenty years. Married for 46 years, Jack is the proud father of two, grandfather of four.
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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