Dave Durocher is the Executive Director of The Other Side Academy, a training school that saves lives by changing behavior. Before helping to launch The Other Side Academy, Dave was at Delancey Street for eight years where he rose to become the Managing Director of their 250-person Los Angeles facility.

Dave got into Delancey Street after a Judge gave him a chance to change his life when he was at the brink of a 29-year prison sentence. He first got arrested at age 13 and by the time he was 38, he had been to prison four times for a total of 15 years.

Today, Dave has moved on to the next chapter in his life. He’s the Executive Director of The Other Side Academy in Salt Lake City.


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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dave Durocher recalls how he narrowly escaped a 29-year prison sentence and the events that led him to that moment
  • What life in prison was like for Dave and what he did to survive
  • Dave explains why it’s hard for a person to change in prison
  • Dave’s process for shifting his mind from being include to bad habits to focusing on the good ones
  • How Dave met Joseph Grenny and got chosen to launch The Other Side Academy
  • Why Dave got rejected the first time he applied to Delancey Street
  • What The Other Side Academy does and what happens once you’re accepted into their program
  • Dave discusses the kinds of business The Other Side Academy members engage in
  • Dave talks about the values of The Other Side Academy
  • How the interview process for The Other Side Academy works
  • Dave shares a remarkable story about a transformed member of The Other Side Academy
  • Dave talks about how his time in prison has changed the way he views life and how it affected his parenting style
  • Dave explains why he considers his TED talk as a proud and impactful moment in his life

In this episode…

Saving lives by changing behaviors isn’t impossible. However, it requires a lot of hardwork and dedication from the individual and from the support system who will help him get to where he wants to be. This positive shift is the expected outcome from the program of a two and a half year re-education facility. Their members are those with a long history of entanglement with the law; in fact, a lot of those who are working with this facility have been arrested over 25 times and would often be cast out as hopeless.

But The Other Side Academy is committed to transforming the lives of long term drug addicts who have records for a multitude of other crimes. It’s led by Dave Durocher, who himself got on the bad side of life and was given a chance to change things for the better and turn his entire life around. They not only turn these people’s lives around, they turn them from being inclined to criminal behavior to being productive members of society. The best part? They are doing it for free. does.

Join Dr. Jeremy Weisz on this episode of the Inspired Insider as he talks with Dave Durocher, the Executive Director at The Other Side Academy, about his powerful and inspiring story on how shifting your mindset can change your life. Dave shares his criminal past and journey to transformation with Dr. Weisz. They also discussed how Dave got into Delancey Street, his initial rejection and what being in the program meant for him, and how his life has changed since then. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned on this episode

Sponsor for this episode

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Rise25 was cofounded by Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran.


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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of inspiredinsider.com where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders, some founders you’ve heard of and some you’ve never heard of, you know, Dave, you know, I had the founder of p90x Tony Horton. And what I love about some of these stories is not the glory on the other side necessarily, but the trials and tribulations of the journey, right. We all know Tony Horton, a p90x useful hundreds of millions of dollars of that stuff, but what was fascinating for me is when he drove cross country and he’s first starting out, he made money is a Street Mine. So he actually was a street performer. That’s how he made his food and apartment money. He put his head on the street, and he would do street mining. And that’s how he made the money for food and rent. There was another person, which no one’s most people would never heard of Chris Ategeka who was referred by a guest of the show, and he’s founder of two nonprofits and two for profits. But what’s interesting about Chris is he grew up in Uganda and at age seven, he became an orphan because both his parents died of AIDS and us oldest of five children. So he became head of the household. And he’s seven, and his, he was taking one of his brothers to the hospital, he died on the way the hospital and he won a scholarship in the village to go to America and study in the end up getting his PhD. He speaks nine languages. He got his PhD while he’s doing his PhD started nonprofit, two nonprofits and two for profits. It was it’s, it’s truly one of those stories that I see. You know, they they’re gonna make a movie of it someday. And they’re like, oh, Half of this is not real, yet all of it will be real, you know, and so

Dave Durocher

I haven’t had enough time with one

Unknown Speaker

with me.

Jeremy Weisz

And so before I introduce today’s guest, Dave Durocher, I just want to give a brief sponsor message. This episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co-founded with my business partner, John Corcoran and at Rise25. We help businesses connect to their dream 100 clients and referral partners by helping you run your podcast. So we help you on your podcast. So it generates ROI, you know, because of a generator, I gave it sustainable, right? Same thing with the Other Side Academy. It’s got to generate ROI. So it’s sustainable and it was actually inspired by my grandfather, who was a Holocaust survivor and he was the only person out of his family to survive the concentration camps in Nazi Germany along with his brother and the Holocaust foundation did an interview with him and his legacy lives on you can go to insert insert com the about page, where I have the full one hour interview talking about the atrocities that he went through. So Dave I watch that multiple times a year just they have gratitude appreciation for things in my life. I know you have you have similar stories with you. So if you have questions about podcasting, I think every business should have a podcast hands down period, it’s been the best thing I’ve done. I get to connect with amazing people like Dave, and other people go to Rise25.com and check out more of Today’s guests. I want to thank Joseph Grenny for referring today’s guests. If you don’t know Joseph Grenny’s work, VitalSmarts. He also co-authored Crucial Conversations which has sold over 4 million copies. And today’s guest is Dave Durocher. He’s the executive director at The Other Side Academy onThe Other Side Academy, I guess, Dave, you could say, save lives by changing behavior and to give a brief overview of days he was arrested For the first time at age 13, by the time he was 38, he had been in prison four times for a total of 15 years. And he was facing 29 year prison sentence when he was given the option to go to Delancey Street , and he was given a chance to change his life. And Dave was at Delancey Street for eight years, became the Managing Director of their 250-person, Los Angeles facility and he helped launch The Other Side Academy in Utah. Dave. It’s an honor a pleasure. So thank you for joining me.

Dave Durocher

Thank you, Jeremy’s honor to be given the opportunity to do this with you.

Jeremy Weisz

You know, you have a truly inspiring story. And, you know, people have a question of, can someone change? right is the question. I don’t know if you want to just talk about the moments leading up to having to make that decision. You know, you’re what led up to that. I guess you’re facing the 29 years. yours.

Dave Durocher

You know, I think things had gotten so bad for me having been a drug addict for 27 years and doing all of that time in prison that that’s actually it’s like, like hedonistic adaptation, I started to believe that prison is where I belonged. And I had spent a lot of years there. And then when I got out after my fourth prison term and got arrested again, it was a very ugly arrest, helicopters high speed chase at end to end it in a pit maneuver, wanton disregard for public safety, and the cops nearly beat me to the edge of my life. And I had every bit of it coming because of what I put them through. And when I finally went to jail and woke up in the infirmary and went through that whole process and went to court the first time, and the offer was 29 years that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had already done a two year prison term, a five year prison term, a six year prison term and a 10 year prison term. So I’m thinking to myself, I’ve already lived a large portion of my adult life in prison and I’m going to go and die there. So, you know, I fought my case for a long time in the county jail pre sentence. And then finally I decided to write Delancey Steet letter. We maybe we’ll get to this part a little bit later in the interview, but I had written them before my 10 year sentence and they didn’t accept me. And then I wrote them this time and they interviewed me a long time for the judge, Judge Pacheco to finally acquiesce and give me the opportunity to go and he ended up suspending a 22 year prison sentence over my head. And you know, for those people and most listening, probably have never faced that kind of time. It was almost a feeling of vertigo when you get really good news when I finally got accepted and the judge finally said I could go I got that dizzy feeling like I had just gotten you know, you would when you get good news or bad news, you kind of get that dizzy feeling. I couldn’t believe I was sitting in the cage all shackled. And the judge said I’m gonna let go against my better judgment when you get kicked out or you split. I’ve got you for the rest of your life. I said Your Honor, where do I sign You know,

Jeremy Weisz

you know, there’s so much to unpack there and we will get to the rejection the first time around. But um, you know, I’m trying to picture the scene, right? There’s helicopters, there’s police, what was it about that day or that time or with you that, you know, arresting someone they don’t typically need necessarily a chopper or something like that. What was it about unique about that situation at that time,

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