CINCINNATI (AP) — A newspaper available in jails in Ohio and Kentucky is intended to help inmates build successful lives after their release.
Tracy Brumfield started publishing the Re-Entry Into Society Empowered or RISE paper in 2017 with a grant from People’s Liberty and the Haile Foundation, WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reports. The publication includes stories that Brumfield believes are inspirational and space for recently released offenders to share their experiences in hopes of helping others.
Without help, former inmates can revert back to bad practices, Brumfield said. Many former inmates leave prison without a job or a place to stay.
Brumfield also recently started volunteering one day a week to meet with ex-inmates immediately after their release. She provides them with care packages filled with items such as grocery store gift cards, bus passes and notes to help with the transition.
“Before they hit that door, we remind them why they don’t want to come back, and we offer them hope that somebody cares,” Brumfield said.
RISE is currently available in jails in areas including Hamilton County in southwestern Ohio and Kenton County in northern Kentucky.
Brumfield says she eventually hopes to expand the newspaper’s circulation to other jails. She also wants to expand her volunteer program from one day a week to several days a week.
“Individuals will kind of, you know, go straight back to what they know, so we’re hoping this is a little bit of a disruption,” Brumfield said.
Information from: WCPO-TV, http://www.wcpo.com