Susan Burton, 61, a former drug addict who spent years in and out of jail, has received the 2012 Purpose Prize. Burton is an advocate for women who are also former inmates.

She is founder and executive director of A New Way of Life Reentry Project in Los Angeles, which helps female parolees–and their children–start fresh, by offering them housing, legal services and job training.

The prize, awarded each year to Americans 60 and older for changing lives in new and creative ways, is $100,000. It is awarded by the nonprofit Encore.org to five movers and shakers who have dedicated the second half of their life to making a positive impact on society.