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

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the Fair Chance Housing ordinance. This new law will not allow landlords to screen applicants based on past arrests or criminal convictions. It also prohibits advertisements....Read more >>

Misty became homeless after suffering from a mental health crisis within her family’s home that resulted in her first arrest. Subsequently, she suffered from homelessness and a substance use disorder for many....Read more >>

Pioneer’s Change Maker Luncheon is October 4, 2017! Join us for Pioneer Human Services' Annual Change Maker Luncheon on Wednesday,....Read more >>