Elvir Purovic grew up in an immigrant family in Hamtramck. Following his father’s deportation, Elvir landed in an adult prison at 15 years old. While he was 16 and still incarcerated, Elvir got his GED. Like most children, as he grew older he also matured and decided he wanted to do more with his life.
Spend just 5 minutes with him and you’ll see that Elvir is a striver, thoughtful and an empathetic soul who willingly helps others. He has been sober for close to 2 years, has worked the 12 Steps, and sponsors several young people on their path to sobriety. Elvir joined Youth Justice Fund because he recognizes the lasting impact that his incarceration has had on him and wants to ease the isolation that returning youth sometimes feel and provide them with a sense of belonging.
YJF is reimagining what it means to be a person returning to society after entering prison as a teen. Our goal is to remove the stigma and reduce the isolation that comes when you’re not locked in a prison anymore but you still feel locked away from community. This is not only about reorienting the newly returning person but also about reorienting the community to see us as neighbors, coworkers, and friends who want the same things out of life that everybody else does.