A National Advocacy Organization


Justice-Involved Individuals and Families


Engage - Elevate - Empower


Our Mission

Rise-N-Step's mission is to advocate on behalf of justice-involved Individuals, their families and communities.  Our research-based programs are designed to be implemented throughout the justice process: from initial contact with the justice system through incarceration,  post incarceration, reentry and recidivism prevention. RNS contributes to lowering recidivism by facilitating reentry and life (re) building by facilitating access to existing community resources providing competent advocacy.

Rise-N-Step is the advocacy and program arm of the Research Institute for Incarceration Studies,

an independent, nonpartisan think tank and policy research organization.


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About as many people were returned to prison just for parole violations in 2000 as were admitted in 1980 for all reasons combined.
A first-time drug offense carries a sentence of 5-10 years. In other developed countries, that sentence would be six months of jail time, if any at all.
Three out of four young black men in D.C., can expect to serve time behind bars. This is despite the fact that people of all races use and sell drugs at the same rate.
Eighty percent of defendants cannot afford a lawyer. Tens of thousands of people go to jail every year without ever talking to a lawyer or going to trial.


Advocacy and Education

Through all Phases of the Criminal Justice System.



Re-Entry Programs for Incarcerated Citizens
Rise-N-Step supports early in-prison reentry education and training using Rise-N-Step's proprietary assessment tool will help determine your skills, interest and aptitude and work with you on your individualized reentry plan and goals.
Family Support
The goal of Rise-N-Step is to assist inmates in maintaining positive family relationships. Our team of advocates will work with families of inmates on issues such as communication, navigating the criminal justice and Bureau of Prison system, overcoming obstacles and reunification and reintegration.


Rise-N-Step is a national organization that represents the interest of justice-involved citizens. We believe that our communities are stronger when we rehabilitate incarcerated citizens and effectively integrate then into the community. To that end Rise-N-Step advocates for and supports criminal justice policies and prison reform centered on rehabilitation. We believe reentry must be a program not a process and preparation for re-entry must include evidence-base programs that reduce recidivism. As a membership organization, Rise-N-Step assesses each incarcerated member individually and develops a plan for re-entry that includes education, job training, life skills, employment preparedness, religious support, job placement, housing assistance, family support and re-integration. We believe that re-entry must be a program that begins inside the prison not a process that begins after release.

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“A society is ultimately judged by how it treats it's weakest and most vulnerable members.”

Our programs strengthen the weakest among us. These programs are possible because of your generous donations.

CHANGE a life, STRENGTHEN your community



“A past prison sentence should never be a life sentence.” - Renee Ballantyne

In the United States citizens who are convicted of a felony or even a misdemeanor often serve a life sentence. Although we preach non-discrimination, justice-involved citizens continue to face discrimination in the workplace, housing, education, financial resources, and civil rights. If we are serious about reintegration we must remove these barriers.

“Today, over 2 million American citizens are currently incarcerated and over 20 million with felony convictions. As the number of incarcerated individuals continues to rise, so do the children and families impacted by the effects. One of the greatest challenges citizens face post-incarceration is the ability to find sustainable, gainful employment to support themselves and their families. People must be able to secure their basic needs in order to have a fighting chance at financial independence and stability. There is nothing magic in our approach. Rise-N-Step is committed to reducing poverty directly through enhanced job opportunities. We work with our members prior to release on job skill training, personal development and accountability and in most cases pair them with employers prior to release. We know that opportunity plus commitment equals success and we are committed to success."
Director of Philanthropy and Business Relations
Renee Ballantyne Director of Philanthropy and Business Relations
“As someone with vast experience in the criminal justice system as prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant and inmate, I can tell you the prison industrial complex survives on recidivism. Our criminal justice system including our reentry process is designed to support the prison industry. The more people incarcerated the more money. Why would any fair-minded judge jail someone for being poor? Why do federal judges continue to put black and brown people in prison for decades for non-violent drug offenses? Rise-N-Step’s goal is to reduce recidivism through education and effective reentry programs. Our government must invest in in-prison education and training and remove the stigma associated with prison. I am personally committed to fight for rehabilitation and full Integration not partial integration.”
Emmanuel Roy Founder

News & Updates

We provide News update about relevant news and issues on the news that affect the organization and its members. Please feel free to share your opinions with us. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Rise-N-Step publishes a newsletter every quarter covering issues related to criminal justice, prison reform, re-entry, recidivism, and reintegration. Contact us if you have an article you would like us to consider for publication.