Toronto – In 1993 Dan Cornacchia (right) an accountant and David Lockett, who owns transportation businesses, established The Redwood Shelter for abused women and children.
But the two men realized that if today’s violent youths grew into tomorrow’s abusive adults, The Redwood Shelter — and others — would always be full. That’s why they created the Canadian Foundation for the Prevention of Family Violence.
During the first 18 months of its initial program, PACT Participation, Acknowledgement, Commit m and Transformation), 300 youths charged with both violent and nonviolent crimes (about 60 per cent male; 40 per cent female) were diverted from Scarborough Youth Court.
Each offender then met with the victim, both their families and, often, the arresting officer as well to determine a binding agreement whereby he or she would make restitution. As a result, the reoffence rate dropped by 90 per cent.
Relying on corporate funding, PACT has now expanded to Metro West Youth Court, one of three high-volume youth courts in the Greater Toronto Area. “We’re just two guys who cared, had a vision, and didn’t give up,” says David. — Cindy Barrett