Tracy Brumfield has made it her mission to erase those obstacles and set former prisoners on the right path by publishing a newspaper called RISE, which stands for Reenter Into Society Empowered.
"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," she said.
Brumfield started RISE in 2017 after winning a grant from People's Liberty and the Haile Foundation. The newspaper includes stories she believes will be inspirational to inmates and provides recently released offenders a chance to share their experiences in their own words.
RISE is available in the Hamilton and Kenton County Jails, and Brumfield said she would like to see it expanded to other jails across the region. In the meantime, she is taking the program a step farther by volunteering one day a week to meet former inmates the minute they're released.
"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.
She gives them care packages containing Kroger gift cards, bus passes and inspirational notes, among other items meant to make their transition easier.
Brumfield said her focus is on making sure former inmates have access to housing, employment, healthcare and education before they reach the outside, and she'd like to expand the program so that it's available several days a week.