A Message from the President
Jack Calhoun, President
John “Jack”Calhoun is president and CEO of Hope Matters. Mr. Calhoun has dedicated his life’s work to improving the lives of children and families and the communities in which they live. He was President of Justice Resource Institute, served as Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services in Massachusetts and the U.S. Commissioner of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families. In 2007, under the aegis of the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, Mr. Calhoun designed the California Cities Violence Prevention Network (CCVPN)—a 14-city initiative that seeks to foster development and implementation of comprehensive citywide anti-violence plans combining prevention, intervention, enforcement, and reentry. He currently serves as the Network’s President and played a seminal role in the creation and management of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention (NFYVP). In 2010, Attorney General Eric Holder launched NFYVP, for which CCVPN was the model.
"Violence harms individuals, families and entire communities."
The violence must be stopped. Yet no violence prevention strategy will succeed if focused on enforcement alone. Single solutions, if they work at all, work only temporarily. Thus enforcement strategies must be intricately linked to building community vitality and resilience. Violence occurs in a context that includes family dynamics, education, job availability, the isolation of individuals and easy access to guns.
This means a jurisdiction must pledge to a comprehensive action plan that blends prevention, intervention, reentry and enforcement. To produce such a plan takes both hard work and time. It necessitates strong, consistent leadership that has the authority to convene and hold accountable action pledges made by key governmental and civic partners. It necessitates close law enforcement/service provider cooperation, the sharing of data, specific commitments from each partner, a means to track the work, make changes where necessary and celebrate successes.
Plans that work range widely from “violence interrupters” working on the street at 1:00 a.m. pre-school education, mentoring, “hot spot policing,” to suggested policy changes on the local, county, state or even federal levels.
Ultimately, this approach must not be view as a program. It is, quite simply, a new way of doing business.
Cities that have done this work well, have embedded it in policy and practice and will not return to the old way of addressing violence.
Jack Calhoun, July 3, 2018
Board of Directors
CCVPN Executive Director
Ernesto Olivares, Executive Director
Ernesto is a Council Member and former Mayor of Santa Rosa, CA. He has over 30 years of law enforcement experience including 11 years of experience developing and implementing youth and gang violence prevention strategies. He has given presentations on topics including gang violence prevention, building safe communities, strengthening relationships between law and enforcement and the communities they serve, and reducing gun violence.