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

Robert told Pioneer staff that he had been “ living-off the land ” in Montana for three years before moving back to Spokane and ending up homeless on the streets. He eventually did find housing but he was....Read more >>

Join us at Pioneer Human Services' annual Change Maker Luncheon ! This year, Pioneer will celebrate 55 years of service in the community with....Read more >>

For too many people in this country, having a conviction history is like being branded for life. Society makes judgments about who they are and continues to punish them long after their sentences are served. At Pioneer....Read more >>