Our Mission:  We are a social enterprise that partners with communities to transform society by honoring the humanity of people, reducing the impact of discriminatory mass incarceration and empowering people to live safe, healthy, productive lives through inspiration, affirmation and by overturning barriers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Announcement: The safety and well-being of our staff and clients is our top priority during this unprecedented time. We are actively monitoring and responding to all recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and our local health authorities. Current information is available HERE.

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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:









Watch a Video about Pioneer

Pioneer Human Services is a nonprofit (501c3) social enterprise. One-hundred percent of our revenues are reinvested within the organization.


We are fortunate to have one of our former resident’s at the Tacoma Residential Reentry Center share his experience in transitioning out of prison and into the center. Pioneer operates all four federal residential....Read more >>

Our CEO, Karen Lee, was a recent guest on Paul Zeliger's podcast, Awarepreneurs, for an interesting conversation on running one of the largest nonprofit social enterprises in the country that serves justice-involved....Read more >>

The most effective way to reduce stigma against people with criminal histories is to adjust our own thinking through empathy. People who have been incarcerated are, first and foremost, human beings, and deserve to be....Read more >>