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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 12, 2014 / 12 Iyar, 5774

An Intriguing Plan to Create Urban Peace

By Diane Dimond




JewishWorldReview.com | Ten minutes on the phone with David Lockett and you realize this is a man of high integrity, compassion and vision. After a lengthy conversation with him, I came away believing if there was ever a man we should follow in the fight against crime, it is David Lockett.

Lockett's business background is in the trucking industry. He also developed and has run a program for nearly 20 years that embraces society's toughest, hard-core juvenile criminals and gives them the tools to turn their lives around. It's called the PACT LifePlan Coaching Program and its guiding principle is the idea that if we help young people avoid a lifetime of crime, everybody wins. Spend a little time giving a kid some skills and a plan for his or her future and the country gets a law-abiding, contributing taxpayer in return. In the long run, it's a lot cheaper than paying for their trip (or trips) through the U.S. justice system.

Youth courts in and around Lockett's native Toronto, Canada, are so impressed by his track record with these kids they automatically funnel the toughest cases his way, sentencing young offenders to a term in this very unique program.

As the PACT staff explains, their approach isn't therapy or counseling; it is coaching kids on how to live a meaningful life. There are specially targeted programs for both young males, the category so often at the center of street crime, and for young women, who are so susceptible to early pregnancy.

For the dedicated PACT coaches it can be a constant, almost 24/7 job to keep track of their wards — meetings, classes, outside projects with the kids, late night phone calls and teary heart-to-heart discussions. The children come from abusive homes or live in foster care situations. Many have been in gangs, have mental health or substance abuse problems. During the year-and-a half long process, PACT coaches act like the dutiful parents these children never had.

The metaphor, Lockett told me, is simple. "Imagine a kid that's fallen into a deep pit. Many would rush in to pull up the kid. At our program, the coach comes to the edge of the pit and asks, 'Are you ready to figure out where your life should go? What are your goals? How do you plan to achieve them?'" And once the PACT coach gets satisfactory answers, Lockett says, "They go to Home Depot for lumber, nails and a hammer, and toss them down to the kid so they can build a ladder out."

For those who think the problem of youth crime is too widespread to tackle with a simple program, Lockett says he has proof that it really isn't. After much research and consultation with several police departments, the PACT program came to realize that a majority of crimes were being committed by a small group of troubled and forgotten teens.

"One youth court officer told me there were 60 kids in his area who were the worst. Those 60 kids committed 1,000 crimes," Locket told me. Those under-aged lawbreakers became PACT's target group. "It dawned on me," Lockett said in the passionate tone he uses, "To break the cycle ... just help those 60 kids and your crime rate goes down!"

Now for the best part: Guess how much the PACT program's intensive, one-on-one mentoring costs Canadian taxpayers? Nothing, thanks to Lockett's creative and dogged approach to getting the community involved.

"From the beginning we decided we would not take government money because it just came with so much B.S. attached," Lockett said. "It just wasn't worth it. So I went and gave speeches to 30 Rotary clubs."



That is where PACT got its seed money back in 1995. And so it remains today. A combination of donations from service clubs, local businesses and corporations pays for everything. Right now there are 42 youngsters in the program, and the annual operating budget is about $300,000. That's less than the justice system spends on one teenaged repeat offender. So far, 10,000 teens have graduated from the PACT program. The success rate of all those who enter is near 70 percent.

Lockett, who calls himself a "social entrepreneur," uses tried-and-true business practices to keep his program running in very creative ways. First and foremost, PACT is careful with its money as the staff goes about giving kids hope and teaching them skills that will take them into the future — cooking, gardening, film production and light construction. One Lockett brainchild is a program that teaches kids patching, painting and how to place drywall, all with donated materials from local businesses. PACT then bids — underbids, actually — on local jobs and wins most of them. The money the team earns goes to pay some of the life coaches, salaries of up to $10 an hour for the most experienced teens, and the rest is distributed to the other kids as bonuses.

"Businesses are successful because they make plans, come up with a list of best practices ... and they thrive," Lockett said. "But we don't do that with social problems ... why not?"

Good question. Why don't we come up with concrete plans to creatively break the cycle of poverty and tackle the root issues that lure kids into crime: issues such as feelings of alienation and hopelessness, poor education, drug abuse, gangs and teen pregnancy?

Lockett's ultimate mission sounds lofty. He wants to "bring about urban peace," and he wants to convince communities and businesses that giving to his program is not a donation but an investment. As you might suspect, Lockett has his own wish list for the future.

"I want to build a social franchise and teach others how to create urban peace in the world," he told me. "Think about it. Our model really funds itself, it can be used anywhere and it works."

Any of you out there want to help create urban peace where you live? David Lockett will be glad to tell you how.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Investigative journalist and syndicated columnist Diane Dimond has covered all manner of celebrity and pop culture stories.

Diane Dimond Archives

© 2014, Creators Syndicate.

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