Mr. Calhoun has been a pioneer in developing and running programs that help support vulnerable children, their families and the communities in which they live. Many of these programs saw their way into policy.
In Massachusetts, he began the State’s pre trial diversion programs, and then helped to write and pass MGL Chap. 276A, enshrining pre-trial diversion into state law. While in Massachusetts, he launched Urban Court, a program which involved victims with their victimizers with local citizens serving on sentencing panels. Urban court won a national award from the then U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell as a national prototyp0e for the Neighborhood Justice Concept, a progenitor of restorative justice.
Serving as the U.S. Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) under President Carter, he helped to write and saw Congress enact the landmark Child Welfare and Adoption Act of 1980, called by Dr. Wade Horn, ACYF Commissioner under President Bush, “One of the three most important laws affecting children in the last 100 years.”
As president and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) he revolutionized crime prevention by shifting its definition to encompass building vital communities that don’t produce crime and creating programs that involve youth as partners in addressing social problems. Community Responses to Drug Abuse and Comprehensive Communities Crime Prevention Programs manifested the community concept, and his Youth as Resources initiative, which involved almost 500,000 youth from across the nation, proved conclusively that all types of youth were eager to be involved as resources.
When serving as Senior Consultant to the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families, he helped to design and then run the 13 California City Gang Prevention Network (CCGPN) based on the premise that violent crime could be reduced and community well-being improved if participating cities drafted and then implemented a plan blending prevention, intervention and enforcement. Based on the success of CCGPN and other comprehensive models, U.S. Attorney General Holder in 2010 launched his National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention.