Justice Rick Blouin has been involved with PACT since 2000, providing valuable support and guidance through its critical years of development and taking a trailblazing stance in diverting troubled youth from incarceration to rehabilitation. The success of the PACT’s award-winning Life Coaching program for high-risk, repeat young offenders wouldn’t be possible without Justice Blouin.
Habitual Young Offenders Caught in the “Revolving Door” System
In the year 2000, following five years of research, PACT co-founder David Lockett approached then superintendent of police, Bill Blair, with an idea for an innovative rehabilitation program for troubled youth. Encouraged by the idea, Bill Blair referred Rick Blouin to the concept. He was then the assistant crown attorney in charge of the Scarborough youth court, one of the busiest youth courts in Canada.
At the time, Rick saw 60 revolving door, habitual young offenders continually caught in the cycle of being put in youth detention, making progress, being released (usually back into the negative environment that caused the problems) and then quickly re-offending. These 60 youth were responsible for a highly disproportionate portion of the 1700 charges, some with multiple page criminal records. Rick realized that without an effective program to break the cycle, they would soon be caught in the adult criminal justice system for life each, inflicting both massive pain and financial costs to society.
A Vision to Break the Cycle of Crime, One Youth at a Time
Rick Blouin’s innate understanding of the case profiles of the 1700 charges that were processed through the youth courts each year led to his vision to create a highly targeted re-intergration program for high-risk young offenders that are either on the brink of closed custody or reintegrating out of closed custody. His vision led to the creation of Pact’s award-winning LifePlan Coaching Program.
Rick was soon appointed to the bench as a judge in the Ontario criminal court in Newmarket, ON. It was only fitting that as a judge he referred the first youth into the coaching program. The youth’s name was Les Magyar and at the time, Readers Digest wrote a national feature article that followed Les’ positive transformation over a year that millions of Canadians read. Rick attended Les’ graduation ceremony a year after he referred the troubled youth into the program.
As we look back 15 years later, we recognize that it was Rick Blouin’s insight and confidence that allowed PACT to be the remarkable program it is today.