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RISE Reentry: Please Don't Give Up on Me

By Erica Raetz, Director of Reentry Services


RISE Reentry: Please Don't Give Up on Me

During my weekly “letter time” where I close my office door to dive into mail received from our incarcerated people, a neatly written envelope with a pink letter folded inside caught my attention.

Scrolled at the top in cursive letters I read,“Please don’t give up on me.”

Tears immediately welled up in my eyes as I realized this was a fear so many of our people experienced throughout 2021, and the responsibility RISE holds to never give up on anyone.

Throughout 2021, our reentry team experienced the victories of recruiting over 200 employers to hire people with criminal records, welcoming home 45 individuals from prison, adding three more Reentry Specialists to our team, and providing over $23,000 in rental and utility assistance and quality of life items (shoes, winter coats, and other necessities).

We also saw the depth of heartbreak - children being reunited with their parents, only for their parents to be sucked into the dark cycle of addiction; incarcerated people who had prepared diligently for their release, only to be denied parole and required to wait another year to come home; happy, thriving people in the community experiencing loss of a loved one and their mental health becoming too much for them to manage. Our team walks with RISE Graduates through it all. We typically like to tell the success stories, but those successes are only one chapter.

*35 of those are reincarcerated in county or state facilities at this time.

RISE Reentry & Recidivism

By Erin Cooper, MS, Director of Research & Evaluation

RISE has always understood that to experience reentry is to experience crisis. Incarcerated individuals are often released to area communities with little to no financial support, emotional support, mental health support, or support for substance use addictions. This often leaves formerly incarcerated individuals operating in crisis mode and at a higher likelihood of reoffending.

RISE believes that reentry support is crucial to the success of its released graduates. Support must be tailored to individual needs, support must be swift, and support must be available around the clock. Most importantly, reentry support must begin prior to release.

During 2021, the RISE reentry team was able to serve 201 Graduates either pre-release or post release. RISE was able to provide over 1300 reentry services during 2021.

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