Defy Colorado transforms the lives of people with criminal histories and community members through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial and employment journey.
Men and women currently incarcerated across the state of Colorado
People released from Colorado prisons every year
THE WHY BEHIND DEFY
We believe that not only do people deserve a second chance — they deserve a first chance, no matter how late in life that comes. We all deserve the chance to shape our own lives, but not everyone is afforded the same opportunities. We believe in paying it forward by utilizing the privileges we have been given in order to drive personal and economic growth for people with criminal histories.
It has been found that people who participate in prison-based education or vocational prison programs have higher employment rates and are less likely to return to prison after being released than nonparticipants. Of the roughly 9,000 people released from Colorado prisons every year, approximately 54% return to prison within three years, with many citing barriers to employment as a significant reason.
By harnessing the talents of the state’s currently and formerly incarcerated individuals as well as community and business leaders, Defy Colorado helps individuals with criminal histories to create legal business ventures and careers, ultimately defying the odds.