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Formerly Incarcerated, This Entrepreneur Provides Resources To Help Inmates Adjust Once Released
Tracy Brumfield, founder of Rise Up News (Rise), has proven that the underdog can win. Rise is a first-of-a-kind newspaper that is distributed in local jails. Rise seeks to reduce recidivism by providing local reentry resource listings to incarcerated individuals to help them prepare for life after release. Each issue includes content designed to inspire hope and to empower the readers with knowledge.
SHE STARTED A NEWSPAPER THAT HELPS OHIO'S INMATES REBUILD THEIR LIVES
One phone call changed the trajectory of Tracy Brumfield's life.
It was March 2017 and she had just gotten home from working the night shift at an addiction treatment center when the phone rang. Aurore Fournier, the program director with nonprofit People's Liberty, told Brumfield she had won a $100,000 grant to help her launch a newspaper aimed at helping Cincinnati's incarcerated population get the help they need to rebuild their lives and stay out of jail.
Tracy Brumfield: 2017 Haile Fellow Part 1
Recipient of a 2018 Ohio Valley Regional Emmy Award in the Human Interest Program category
SHE CREATED A NEWSPAPER TO HELP FORMER INMATES RE-ENTER SOCIETY
"RISE" up! She created a newspaper aimed at helping inmates leaving prison get access to jobs, housing, and health care.
MEET THE WOMAN CREATING A NEWSPAPER FOR INMATES
An overnight idea led Tracy Brumfield to create RISE, a monthly newspaper printed for and written by inmates in Cincinnati jails. The idea? Share information on everything from homeless shelters to treatment facilities to help equip inmates with knowledge they’ll need to navigate a post-release world and ultimately combat the region’s heroin epidemic and recidivism rates—all from inside the jailhouse walls.
300,000 COPIES AND COUNTING: THIS NEWSPAPER HELPS INMATES PREPARE FOR LIFE ON THE OUTSIDE
Tense from the pains of withdrawal, Tracy Brumfield rushed back to her car after buying a bag of heroin. As she prepared a syringe, she was caught off guard by a knock on the window.
“I just knew my life was never going to be the same,” she says, “I was so focused on what I was doing that the next reality was a Cincinnati police officer outside my car.”