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Stacey Putka

Co-Founder & Executive Director
President of the Board

Stacey is a dedicated advocate and visionary leader committed to transforming the landscape of criminal justice in the United States. Armed with a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University, Stacey has leveraged her expertise to spearhead initiatives aimed at lowering recidivism rates and reshaping society’s response to those impacted by the criminal legal system.

Her passion for reform stems from personal experiences, growing up in an entrepreneurial household where she witnessed her father’s remarkable journey of recovery and redemption after overcoming addiction. Inspired by her family’s experiences, Stacey developed a profound sense of purpose and a commitment to empowering individuals to reclaim their lives and potential, which ultimately fueled her dedication to transforming the criminal justice system.

Under Stacey’s guidance, Breakthrough has achieved remarkable outcomes in fundraising, strategic planning, advocacy, program efficacy, and operations, ensuring sustainable growth and successful outcomes for program participants while achieving significant cost savings for the state of Colorado in recidivism-related expenses. Stacey has forged partnerships with major Colorado foundations and corporations, expanding funding opportunities and bolstering Breakthrough’s financial sustainability. Additionally, through strategic planning and implementation, she has scaled Breakthrough’s impact from a small team serving 60 individuals to an eight-person organization reaching 375 people across four prisons, aligning with Breakthrough’s long-term goal of ensuring program accessibility for all individuals incarcerated in the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Stacey’s commitment to program efficacy is evident in Breakthrough’s impressive outcomes, including a less than 6% recidivism rate and a 91% employment rate for program graduates. She has expanded program reach and implemented robust monitoring and evaluation systems to measure impact accurately.

As a two-time TEDxSpeaker, Stacey continues to amplify her message of reform and advocate for a more just and equitable society. Her unwavering dedication to criminal justice reform and her visionary leadership make her a driving force for change in Colorado and beyond.