Pioneer supports criminal justice-involved individuals with the services needed to successfully re-enter our communities. Our mission is to provide individuals with criminal histories the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives.

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Labels Create Barriers

We believe that words are powerful and can be very stigmatizing and harmful when used to label our citizens who are or were formerly incarcerated. Let’s be clear, the individuals are first and foremost human beings!

We all need to remember that people released from prison or jail share common and descriptive names with everyone else in society to include: grandparent, parent, son and daughter, extended family member, friend, neighbor, colleague and employee. These are the only type of names that should ever be used to describe a person.

When talking about people who have been involved in the criminal justice system, here are labels to avoid and terms that are acceptable:

NEVER USE

Convict

ex-Con

Inmate

ex-Inmate

Offender

ex-Offender

Criminal

Prisoner

Felon

ex-Felon

Parolee

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NEWS

Catherine was broken. She experienced a violent home life and had been diagnosed with mental health issues. In addition, she struggled with a substance use disorder and had to face having a criminal record. When she was....Read more >>

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Towards the end of Jeff's eight-year incarceration, he made a commitment to himself. Jeff would not be returning to prison, and he would not be homeless ever again. Having met with counselors while incarcerated,....Read more >>

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

We love our donors, especially when they find creative ways to support and advocate for our clients. Priya became connected to Pioneer's mission and our efforts at our film screening of....Read more >>