Pioneer serves people released from prison or jail in Washington State, and those in recovery from addiction, who are in need of treatment, housing and job skills training. Our mission as a social enterprise 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

We are excited to announce the successful onboarding of the South End Sobering Pilot , an extension of the Dutch Shisler Sobering Center in Seattle. The nine-month pilot program, co-located with St. Vincent De Paul in....Read more >>

For me, Pioneer Human Services is kind of like the parent I never had when I was young. My positive life lessons started here. When you learn about my past you would probably never guess that today I am engaged to a....Read more >>

Pioneer is very grateful to Street Yoga’s devoted volunteer yoga teachers who have been providing weekly trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness classes for youth at Spruce Street Inn since May 2016. Located in the....Read more >>