WHAT WE DO

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 recidivate upon release than nonparticipants.

Of the approximately 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.

“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.”
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.

People are released from Colorado prisons every year.

%

Of released individuals will be rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years.

%

Of formerly incarcerated people are not employed, after one year of release.

%

Estimated increase to Colorado's incarcerated population by 2024.

100,000

Juveniles leave correctional facilities, State prison, or Federal prison each year. These juveniles have a recidivism rate of 55 to 75%.

20,136

Individuals are currently incarcerated within 20 Colorado state run prisons and three private for profit prisons. (2015)

$39,701

The average cost of housing an inmate in Colorado. (2017)

“EACH OF US IS MORE THAN THE WORST THING WE’VE EVER DONE.”

Bryan Stevenson