About Rise

In the spirit of higher consciousness, Research Institute for Social Equity (RISE) gives honor to the humanity of those individuals past and present who have experienced the social injustices. Further, RISE gives honor to those who have experienced the criminal justice system whether justly or unjustly through either incarceration, arrest, reentry/rehabilitation, community supervision, or criminal convictions. For those reasons, RISE is committed to changing the narrative of returning citizens by transforming lives in the reach towards unlimited possibilities and potentialities.

Our Mission

To address the psycho-social-economic needs of the reentry population using culturally responsive research to inform better practices needed in community programming to reduce recidivism.


1 in 100

Adults are currently serving time in U.S. correctional facilities. According to the Department of Justice.

A TOTAL OF 7.2 Million

people are under some form of supervision, by the Criminal Justice system.

The Problem

The United States (US) criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million ICs in 1,719 state correctional facilities, 102 federal correctional facilities, 901 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 76 Indian Country jails, as well as in military correctional facilities, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and other community correctional facilities in the US territories (Prison Policy Initiative, 2017).

The US spends over $80 billion on incarceration each year. African Americans are incarcerated for drug offenses at a rate 10 times greater than that of European Americans and other ethnic groups, even though each of these groups use drugs at roughly the same rate. Local, state, and federal governments spend anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 annually to keep one individual behind bars (ACLU, 2017).

Over 10,000 Returning Citizens are being released from US state and federal correctional facilities every week and arrive on the doorsteps of our nation’s communities; nearly 80% of that group will be released to parole supervision (DOJ, 2017).

Studies show that approximately two-thirds of Incarcerated Citizens released will likely be rearrested within three years of release (DOJ, 2017).

I Rise

RISE Goals

  • To incorporate the voided voices of Incarcerated and Returning Citizens (IRC) in the creation, design, and implementation of sustainable and innovative reentry programs that reduce recidivism.
  • To create a conscious healing environment that reaches farther than the historical context of reentry or rehabilitation programs.
  • To reshape best practices used for service delivery to the reentry population.
  • To bring new understanding of what did and did not work based on the stories of IRCs.
  • To inform governments, criminal justice administrators, clinical practitioners, and Community-Based Organizations in the design, development, and implementation of innovative services.
  • To provide existential-humanistic scholarship that is relative to the well-being of IRCs.
  • To create an optimal healing platform based on innovative approaches for criminal justice reform.

Our Team

Dr. O’Dell Johnson

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Renee Galloway

Research Consultant

Dr. Donna Madison-Bell

Board of Director
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)