The penitent thief

investing in the lives of returning citizens

We're a non-profit with a mission to offer second chances to our formerly incarcerated neighbors.

Meet Our sponsors

Individual and community impacts of incarceration

the need

639 per 100,000

people will be incarcerated at one point in their life.


of current inmates in the state of Florida will one day be released.

2.7 Billion

The FDC is the third largest state prison system in the country with a budget of $2.7 billion. Florida ranks near the bottom of education funding, coming in at Number 41 with a budget of $10,098 per student, while spending $24,265 on average per year to house a Florida inmate in prison

Prison's impact reaches far beyond the individual

Incarceration impacts marriages, children, & homelessness

Take a look at the facts below to see the far reaching effects of incarceration.


quick facts one

Feature one

Family Impact

Every year a married partner is incarcerated their likelihood of divorce increases by 32%


quick facts two

Feature two

Impact on children

Children of incarcerated parents are 5 times more likely to go to prison.


quick facts three

Feature three

Impact on homelessness

At least 60,000 children become homeless each year as a result of parental incarceration.


quick facts four

Feature four

jail time and homelessness

The risk of homelessness increases for people with multiple convictions. The Prison Policy Initiative found that people who have been incarcerated more than once are 13 times more likely than the general public to experience homelessness, whereas people who have been incarcerated once are 7 times more likely.

the Penitent thief is committed to building success after incarceration

real lasting change

Many non-profits come to mind when thinking about needs within the community. However, none come to mind regarding the needs of ex-offenders, hereafter referred to as returning citizens. Many people returning from incarceration envision a better life, but don't have a roadmap or the knowledge and support to get there. That's where we come in...

Did You Know?
More than 70 million people in the U.S have a criminal record

The prison system touches nearly every family in the United States.

According to Forbes, more than 70 million people in this country—one in three adults—have a criminal record. Most of them—about 45 million—have a misdemeanor conviction.

Did you know?
Over 60% of people who previously spent time behind bars are out of work for at least a full year after their release.

those able to find work face A lifetime of lower wages

Although these convictions often involve low-level offenses, like loitering or trespassing, research shows that people with misdemeanor convictions can face a multitude of cascading collateral consequences, including a lifetime of lower wages. A conviction makes it harder to find a job or obtain a professional license, and often leads to work that is temporary, part-time, and low-paying. (Quote taken from Forbes)

Did you know?
Court fees are a great burden on those who are already experiencing poverty

Every year, millions of people pay billions in fines, fees, and court costs

These fines are most detrimental to lower income families or people already experiencing poverty. "One study in Alabama found that more than 80 percent of people gave up things like food, rent, medical bills, car payments, and child support to pay down their court debt. People who can’t pay fines and fees face driver’s license suspensions and jail time for their inability to pay." -Forbes

These punishments often make it impossible to work to pay off the fines. Creating a paradox of people who want to work but can't and are plummeted further into financial crisis.

Get involved

you can be a part of this transformative work

This art was created by Anthos “Brain” Jordan while in Tomoka C.I. - Help us support returning citizens by contributing financially
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Fill out our contact form if you live in the central Florida area and are interested in volunteering

Learn more about the impacts of incarceration in the U.S by taking the quiz.

Approximately how million children have experienced parental incarceration at some point in their lives?

2.7 million children in the US have an incarcerated parent

Student Stories

Read stories from our students

Johnny Levy

"I can’t change the past and the mistakes I made. But I know that I have a God that forgives me and what is important now is how I conduct my life going forward."