The Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Correctional Center, worked together with long-time volunteer Maridee Duggar and other community organizations to implement the Reintegration Initiative for Safety and Empowerment (RISE) program. Initial funding for the program included grants from the Sisters of Mercy and the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. Linn County also contributed $30,000 to assist with operating costs.
The RISE program launched in 2015, and is designed to help inmates’ better transition into the community upon release and to lessen their chances of reoffending. Approximately one third of the people in Iowa that are released from jail without any support, return to jail, but nearly 80 percent of those who join the RISE program do not reoffend.
Inmates are provided with RISE applications by the Linn County Jail staff and volunteers from Fresh Start Ministries during their incarceration. Those who choose to participate complete checklists of needs and strengths in advance of their release, as well as spend time meeting with the “navigators” of the program.
Additional information about the program, volunteering, and donating can be found on the RISE program website: https://riseprogramcr.org/