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WHO WE ARE

People of Purpose is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, community-based organization that was established in 2020 and is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. 

Mission

To help returning citizens build self-sustaining, successful lives of purpose.

Returning citizens are people who have a criminal history, were formerly incarcerated, completed their prison sentence, and returned back to their community.

Vision

To close the door on recidivism.

Values

To acknowledge the inherent worth of all people, irrespective of their past.

Dignity: Recognize the dignity of every individual.

Responsibility: Promote the accountability, responsibility, and contribution of all citizens.

Community: Commit to building strong communities.

Leadership: Embrace developing leadership through service.

Empowerment: Embrace opportunities to empower others to succeed.

THE PROBLEM

Florida has the 3rd highest incarceration rate in the country. The average prison sentence in Florida is 5 years and it costs about $20,000 per year to house one adult in prison.

There are racial and ethnic disparities that exist in the U.S. criminal justice system. Black Americans and Latinx Americans are incarcerated in state prisons 5 times more and 3 times more, respectively, than white Americans. Black men comprise about 13 percent of the U.S. population, but about 35 percent of people incarcerated in the U.S. are black men. 

Nationally, about 98 percent of people sentenced to prison for a felony conviction will rejoin society. In Florida, there are about 80,000 people in prison. Therefore, about 78,400 people will be released back to their community. Locally in Palm Beach County, there are about 1,200 people who are released from prison annually. 

Returning citizens face collateral consequences upon return to their community, such as difficulty obtaining jobs or housing, due to the stigma of having a criminal history. Research shows that helping people return is beneficial for economic and social reasons. Ignoring this population impedes public safety and increases the likelihood of intergenerational incarceration.

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