Defy – Colorado
Defy Colorado was founded in 2017, and the new chapter has already made a significant impact on currently incarcerated people. Working closely with the Colorado Department of Correctional Services, Defy launched its in-prison program CEO of Your New Life in Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility and the Colorado State Penitentiary in December 2017.
Meet the Local Team
Bob Omer, Executive Director
Bob currently serves as the serves Defy as the Executive Director in Colorado. Prior to joining Defy, he spent 18+ years in corporate finance and private industry. He earned a BA in Political Science, a JD from Washburn University and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Stacey Putka, Prison Program Manager
Stacey believes fiercely in challenging perceptions and in the power of transformation. Growing up in an entrepreneurial household, with a father who took full advantage of his second chance in life after recovering from addiction, Stacey has always been inspired to facilitate transformation in the lives of others. Stacey received a Bachelor degree in Psychology from Colorado State University and a Master in Social Work from the University of Denver. Prior to working for Defy Colorado, Stacey provided mental health and substance use treatment to men on parole and probation. She facilitates classes weekly with our EITs at Colorado State Penitentiary and Arkansas Valley Correctional.
Where We Serve
Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility: Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility (AVCF) is a Level III medium security level correctional facility located in Ordway, Colorado. Opened in 1987 AVCF currently houses 1,000 individuals.
Colorado State Penitentiary: Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP) is a Level V maximum security level correctional facility located in Canon City, Colorado. Opened in 1993 CSP currently houses 756 individuals.
The Post-Release Program for Defy Ventures Colorado is currently being built and we anticipate serving our first individuals in the early part of 2018. Not only serving individuals who started the CEO YNL program in the state correctional facilities, Colorado’s Post-Release program looks to offer another opportunity for advancement to individuals with criminal histories who have been living in the community for a while. We’re building a community of support for our EITs where they will have a strong bond with people who genuinely care about their success and will not remember them for the worst thing they’ve ever done. Focusing on employment readiness, character development and entrepreneurship training, Defy Ventures Colorado is working with EITs to prepare them for success by connecting them with community resources, mentors and networking opportunities.
Number of prisons served: 2
- Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility – launched December 2017
- Colorado State Penitentiary – launched December 2017
Current Enrollment: 89 EITs
Graduated: Inaugural cohort at AVCF scheduled to graduate on August 30, 2018. Inaugural cohort at CSP scheduled to graduate in September 2018.
Current Post-release enrollment: None currently
EITs released from the program and enrolled in post-release: None currently
The employment rate for EITs that have graduated and moved to work release facilities: none currently.
How to Get Involved
Contact: Bob Omer at [email protected].
Learn more on Defy Colorado’s website: https://www.defycolorado.org/.
Find a list of upcoming events here.