About Us

Hope Rises provides holistic services to incarcerated and previously incarcerated women to improve their health and well-being and provide opportunities for personal growth and empowerment.

Our innovative program includes:

  • Case Management with Individualized Case Plan
  • Risk/Needs Assessment
  • Trauma Support Group
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Health and Wellness Education
  • Organized Physical Activities
  • Personal Growth and Empowerment Course
  • Economic Empowerment Course
  • Parenting Classes
  • Employment Assistance
  • Community Engagement

Women face a unique pathway to crime that differs from men. This pathway is often unaddressed in the male-dominated correctional setting or by reentry service providers. To reduce the risk of re-incarceration, research confirms the importance of addressing the following factors common to women:

  • History of physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse
  • Poor mental and physical health
  • Abuse of substances, often to self-medicate mental health issues (comorbidity)
  • Economically disadvantaged often with few skills and irregular work histories
  • The return to full-time parenting

While the experience similarly impacts both genders, women are more likely to experience increased stigma and difficulty accessing resources upon release. Life circumstances of incarcerated women – circumstances that bring them into corrections and that influence their reintegration into the community – are not managed effectively in reentry programs designed to address the needs of men.

There are now over 200,000 women in prison or jail in the United States, an increase of almost 800% in the last three decades – to the point where the United States now incarcerates more women than any other country. Around one-third of these women ending up back behind bars within three years of their release.

In 2013, Hope Rises completed a needs assessment of downtown Little Rock communities. While crime, violence, poverty, unemployment, lack of housing, food insecurity, and poor mental and physical health affect many residents in Little Rock, these quality of life issues have an amplified effect for women with criminal justice involvement. Click here for our research findings.

The co-founders of Hope Rises, Kim Roxburgh and Christine Schilp-Mills, have worked together to create effective and participatory community work. In 2010, they partnered with Come Back Mission (CBM), to create a holistic women’s empowerment center in a shack community in Johannesburg, South Africa. The community faced numerous issues including an 80% unemployment rate and a HIV prevalence of 60%. Kim and Christine conducted research and assisted with the development of the Heavenly Valley Women’s Empowerment Center. It was through this experience that the co-founders became inspired to create a program for women back home in the United States using the same principles of addressing the whole woman. This holistic approach is effective because it addresses not only poverty-based social needs, but also significant mental and physical health needs. A comprehensive approach is paramount in addressing the complex needs of incarcerated and previously incarcerated women in the United States.