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

NEWS

Will was referred to the Spokane Residential Reentry Center (SRRC) that Pioneer Human Services operates. Through a contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Pioneer operates all four federal residential reentry....Read more >>

Our director of research and client outcomes, Bettina Friese, PhD., is the lead author on a study that was just published in the International Journal of....Read more >>

Stephen was provided housing in one of Pioneer Human Services’ programs that serves individuals participating in the King County Adult Drug Diversion Court. He shared, “ I had been using drugs since I was eleven years....Read more >>