PACE began in 1985 with one Center in Jacksonville, Florida serving 10 girls. Today PACE includes 19 Centers throughout Florida that serve over 2,000 girls each year and PACE has changed the life trajectory of over 37,000 girls since its inception. PACE began as a community response to the realization that girls involved with the justice system were either being placed in programs designed for boys or placed further into the system for their own protection. There were no effective alternatives. Started by Vicki Burke and guided by the research-based recommendations which called for gender responsive programming, PACE created a new alternative to institutionalization or incarceration for girls.
PACE is now recognized as a national model for reducing recidivism and improving school success, employment and self-sufficiency amongst girls by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Children's Defense Fund, National Mental Health Association, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.