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.