Reaching Out From Within, Inc.
P.O. Box 8527
Prairie Village KS 66208
Be The Change With ROFW
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 428-9770
Mission Statement
Reaching Out From Within provides inmates with tools for personal transformation by helping them to address and better understand the issues of abuse and violence in their lives. Once our inmates understand who they are and what has shaped them, they are able to make the ultimate life changing decision of who they want to become. Reaching Out From Within curbs recidivism drastically, and makes communities safer by supporting inmates to become role models for non-violence and valuable contributing members of society.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Suzie Kemper
Board Chair Mr. Jason Miles
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2008
Former Names
STOP Violence Program for Inmates
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $125,000
Projected Expenses $110,000
Mission Statement Reaching Out From Within provides inmates with tools for personal transformation by helping them to address and better understand the issues of abuse and violence in their lives. Once our inmates understand who they are and what has shaped them, they are able to make the ultimate life changing decision of who they want to become. Reaching Out From Within curbs recidivism drastically, and makes communities safer by supporting inmates to become role models for non-violence and valuable contributing members of society.
Background Statement

Reaching Out From Within (formerly STOP Violence) began in 1982 at the Lansing Correctional Facility when inmates judged a community violence prevention contest. On request, we invited area professionals to speak on topics important to inmates: child abuse, spouse abuse, sexual and substance abuse and anger management.

These presentations became a curriculum, called the Blue Book, written by inmates and used weekly by hundreds of male and female inmates to analyze the roots of violence in their life, to support each other and become role models for non-violence in their prison. This popular self-help program spread organically when inmates transferred to other Kansas prisons requested permission to initiate the program in their new facility.

For 31 years, Kansas communities have enthusiastically welcomed our members into their schools for speaking engagements.

Our program has groups inside minimum, medium and maximum custody units all all eight Kansas prisons: Lansing, Topeka (women's prison), El Dorado, Ellsworth, Hutchinson, Larned, Norton, and Winfield.  In 2013 a group was added at the Brown Creek Correctional Institution of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, the first ROFW group outside Kansas.  Since 2014, three more groups have been added, and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety plans to establish a ROFW group in every one of their nearly 60 facilities.
Following the coverage given to ROFW on CBS Evening News in November 2013, individuals from 27 states have expressed an interest in bringing ROFW to their state.  
Impact Statement


  1. Convened over 1,120 meetings in 2016 serving 700 men and women in all eight Kansas prisons in addition to three prisons in North Carolina. 
  2. Added an additional program in a fourth North Carolina prison at end of 2016. 
  3. Provided one-on-one mentoring to incarcerated men and women releasing to Johnson, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte counties.
  4. Published a revised version of the agency's 400-page Blue Book curriculum that is used by each prison group.
  5. Conducted statewide volunteer training for the community volunteers that serve as sponsors to prison groups and provide mentoring services.
Needs Statement
  1. Increase revenue to more than $150,000 annually in order to add a second full time staff person in support of our national expansion.
  2. Gain entry into the Missouri Corrections system. 
  3. Recruit 20 new mentors to expand the agency's mentorship of men and women releasing to the Kansas City area.
  4. Secure funding in the amount of $25,000 to create a book version of the "Faces of Change" show which can be sold for ongoing revenue for the Organization. This cost would also include the addition of 10 more portraits to the show. 
Service Categories
Rehabilitation Services for Offenders
Alliances & Advocacy
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County Urban Core
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

mBecause of the effectiveness of ROFW in helping inmates transform themselves to role models of non-violence and successful citizens upon release, our organization has expanded from the original group (established in 1982) inside the minimum custody unit at Lansing Correctional Facility to become a 501(c)(3) organization with 18 groups throughout Kansas and one group in North Carolina.  Our Board of Directors is raising funds for continuing program expansion, maintaining the program quality, updating our curriculum, and responding to the needs of our alumnae when they return to the community.

Our successes are numerous, mainly the thousands of men and women who were members of this program while incarcerated. Recidivism studies over the years continue to indicate that the recidivism rate for our members is half that of the general Kansas prison population for the three years following release. 

In 2011, we augmented our growing prison-based program by launching a pilot mentoring program for men and women members releasing to the Kansas City area. Participants are enrolled at least 6 months prior to release and are followed at least 6 months after release. A grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City funded the first year of this new program.
Reaching Out From Within is one of two agencies that sat on the Kansas Department of Corrections Mentoring Advisory Committee. It is an active member of the Greater Kansas City Re-entry Coalition and the Kansas City Roundtable.  
Description Reaching Out From Within is a self-help program for inmates in Kansas state correctional facilities.
  • Incarcerated men and women run weekly meetings using curriculum written by inmates that teach life skills and helps them make positive changes. By breaking the cycle of violence they become contributing members of their families and society. Program participants routinely raise funds for outside charities, such as women's shelters, and speak to groups visiting prisons and to students in the community.
  • Volunteer sponsors attend group meetings and give a critical outside perspective. They provide approved books, videos and obtain speakers on the subject being studied. Trained volunteers also serve as one-on-one mentors to offenders preparing for release.
  • Staff and board provide support for the program by recruiting and training volunteers, raising program funds, and collecting data for program evaluation, including impact on recidivism. A newsletter by and for inmates and volunteers allows inmates to be a part of something larger than their own prison and to share ideas and successes. 
  • There is a yearly celebration of their achievements. Achievement certificates are given to inmates who meet parameters.
Program Budget $61,900.00
Category Crime & Legal, General/Other Rehabilitation Services for Offenders
Population Served Adults, ,
Short-Term Success
  • Many client-members become committed to non-violence and hopeful of a better life.
  • They educate themselves and each other, learn alternative ways of dealing with anger and life's stresses. They develop life skills and new ways of looking at their children, spouses and society. A member told me that after working our program he said something positive to his 6-year-old son for the first time. One female drug offender learned to put her teenage daughter’s needs ahead of hers.
  • It is these small yet profound changes in behavior and attitude that not only help the inmate be a better person, but also benefits their family. Millions of children in our society have one or more parents in jail. These children are 60% more apt to become incarcerated themselves, so the ripple effect of an effective program is apparent, and very important to us. 
  • Our clients develop empathy—they want to give back. They hold fund-raisers; go to schools to "help at least one kid avoid doing what I did."
Long-Term Success
  • Our goal is for our clients to be successful non-violent contributing members of society, better parents and spouses, that they stay out of prison, move comfortably in our society and become examples of transformation.
  • Our community is our client too. Most prisoners eventually get out. If we don't help them become better people, our communities, their families and they themselves are at greater risk of violence and desolation.
  • We would be delighted to reach out to other states' inmates.
Program Success Monitored By
  • We use the recidivism rate of our members to measure success. That is, the rate at which they return to prison once released. Our rate is 23% as compared to approx. 50% in Kansas, and in the high 60%’s nationwide.
  • We also measure our success by the level of support from the KS DOC, (Department of Corrections).
  • We know we are effective because we have been designated a "self-help" group by the KS DOC, an honor our members have worked hard to achieve. That puts us in the ranks of AA, NA and other proven programs.
  • At some facilities our members are trusted to orient new inmates, quite an honor.
  • Many of our members are allowed to go outside the walls to speak with children, other prisoners and civic groups.
  • We also rely on anecdotal evidence of our effectiveness.
  • DOC staff and various wardens have stated that our members incur fewer infractions and are easier to work with than the general inmate population.
  • We are eager to secure funding for evaluative tools.
Examples of Program Success
  • Prison is alienating—full of rules and those who exploit any weakness shown, who manipulate. That our members feel free to bare their souls, show flaws, yet strengthen each other is a testament not only to us, but also to the resiliency of the human spirit.
  • One member incarcerated for 32 years spent the first 22 years angry. Upon release he enrolled at WSU, worked full time, opened a house for newly-released felons and started weekly "Alumni" meetings. He is working on his masters in counseling after graduating Magna Cum Laude.
  • Our speakers are in demand at schools, juvenile facilities and civic clubs. Students appreciate our honesty and candidness. We have many testimonials from students positively affected by our men and women's presentations. Some tell our members about their problems. One child told a member of her sexual abuse and was convinced to tell her school counselor.
  • Success: Our members become skilled at dealing with society's challenges upon release with a 23% recidivism rate.
Description Our GED program in Lansing Correctional Facility-Min. Unit, is run by committed volunteers with assistance from several well-educated inmate group members. Statistics show that a person who earns his or her GED while incarcerated is highly less likely to return to prison once released. We solicit funds for books, materials, and the cost of testing which is prohibitive for inmates without outside support.
Program Budget $0.00
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Offenders/Ex-Offenders, Adults,
Short-Term Success The immediate outcome is that the men enrolled in the program use their time in a productive manner - unusual for many inmates. They learn to use their time - not just do their time.
Long-Term Success Those who obtain their GED while in prison are less likely to return. They are better able to find employment and have higher self-esteem. They learn about consequences and that hard work is rewarded.
Program Success Monitored By Inmates in our GED program will be deemed successful when they take the GED test and pass.
Examples of Program Success Up until 2014 we were averaging 6 GEDs awarded per year out of the ROFW GED program.  GED testing at Lansing Correctional Facility was discontinued from January through early August of 2014 as the GED program nationally went through a major transition.  During the first month after testing was reconvened at Lansing Correctional Facility, one ROFW GED student successfully completed GED testing, but we expect to fall short of 6 GEDs in 2014.  Dozens of others were successful in improving their skills in preparation for the GED but were released from prison before they were ready for the test.
Description Volunteer mentors are matched with inmates 6 months to 1 year prior to their release.  Mentors meet periodically with their mentees prior to release to help with reentry planning.  The mentor may be asked to support by transporting the mentee on the day of release.  The mentor helps locate housing and job opportunities.  The mentoring relationship continues for at least 6 months following release.
Category Human Services, General/Other Case Management
Population Served At-Risk Populations, ,
Short-Term Success Mentor at least 20 ROFW group members a year through their first 6 months post-release.
Long-Term Success Mentees successfully reintegrate into the community after release from prison and do not return to prison.  Recidivism rates for this group remain ahead of the state recidivism rate for the general population of ex-felons.
Program Success Monitored By The first year of the mentoring program, which began August 2011, was externally evaluated under a grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Kansas City. There wee 20 mentors recruited, screened, and trained. They were matched with inmates 6 months prior to their release.  Since the completion of that grant, ROFW internally monitors mentor matches and the success of mentees to not reoffend.
Examples of Program Success As of September 2014, ROFW volunteers have individually mentored 57 offenders.   The 57 break into the following four categories: 40 have been out of prison more than six months and are no longer in a formal mentoring relationship; 12 are still inside the prison and have not yet been released; 1 is in the first six months following his release; 4 were dropped from the program prior to release because of a problem in their mentoring relationship.  Of the 40 mentees who have been out of prison for more than six months, only one has been returned to prison for a new charge and only 4 were brought back to prison for a 60-90 days due to a technical violation of the special provisions of their parole plans.  These results results are significantly better than the recidivism rate of the general prison population in Kansas.
CEO Comments
Our major challenge continues to be finding funding sources to continue our work, as contributions to human service organizations remain statistically low in the US.  ROFW continues to update and improve our program manual which is distributed annually to all eight prisons in Kansas, and to our four groups in North Carolina.  We (ROFW board members, staff and volunteers) have also successfully organized, funded (through donations) and made possible 17 ROFW annual recognition banquets (including gift bags and dinners) which allow the program participants to celebrate the successes of their ongoing personal transformation to help bolster confidence to continue. 
We continue to strive towards expanding our program and are hoping to raise funds to create similar counseling programs for the children of our inmates. When someone is incarcerated, they often leave behind a family. Statistically, the child of an inmate is much more likely to become incarcerated later in their life than a child who does not have a parent in prison. By establishing a program for the children of inmates, we hope to continue our goal of stopping violence and abuse in our communities.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Suzie Kemper
Term Start July 2016
Suzie Kemper has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, and a Masters of Business Administration from Baker University. She is a William Jewell Doniphan Fellow who currently serves on the boards of the American Indian Enterprise and Business Council and the Clay County Economic Development Council. Prior to joining Reaching out From Within, Suzie spent seven years at UMB Bank in Kansas City, MO where she excelled in a variety of positions, most recently as a Vice President for UMB commercial lending. Her background in finance and sales combined with her philanthropic experience and grant writing abilities make Suzie the kind of multidimensional leader that Reaching Out From Within needs to grow and sustain. 
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Former CEOs
Mr. Andre Carson July 2013 - Feb
Lynn Hinkle Jan 2014 - May
Paid Full-Time Staff 1
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 40
Paid Contractors 3
Retention Rate 0%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Bi-Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
  • Kansas Department of Corrections
  • Schools Across Kansas – inmate presentations
  • Greater Kansas City Re-entry Coalition
  • K.C. Roundtable (reentry organizations Kansas)
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City
  • Kemper Museum of Modern Art
  • Salina Arts Center
  • Kansas City Repertory Theater
  • Nick Vedros Photography
  • The Bob Barker Foundation 
  • North Carolina Department of Safety
Founder Received "Women of Worth" Award and GrantL'Oreal Cosmetics2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Jason Miles
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term June 2014 to June 2017
Board Members
Mr. Brandon Cady
Ms. Lynn Douthat
Ms. SuEllen Fried Bully Safe, USA
Rev. Sam Jones Minister
Ms. Mary (Bebe) Kemper
Ms. Rachel Mahoney
Ms. Cindy Martin
Ms. Michelle Masoner
Mr. Jason Miles Zephyr Products Inc.
Ms. Janet Payne
Mr. David Ranney
Ms. Kiran Reddy-Huggins
Ms. Phyllis Stevens
Ms. Patty Vedros
Mr. Gregory Winship
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 70%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Program / Program Planning
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Audit, Compliance and Controls
Advisory Board Members
Mr. Jason Brandenburg
Ms. Pat Colloton
Mr. Gary Duncan
Bernard Franklin PHD
Attorney Marcella Gladney Lee
Jami Hepting
Johnny Jacobson
Ms. Paula Porsch
Mr. Fred Pryor
Ms. Marilyn Scafe
CEO Comments Besides making financial contributions and fulfilling the duties of board governance, many members of the board also provide direct volunteer services, such as writing and revising curriculum, sponsoring a prison group, or serving as a mentor to a member during the process of re-entry. 
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $125,000
Projected Expenses $110,000
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990 EZ.  
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item includes contributions from individuals. 
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$27,739$23,878$24,800
Administration Expense$74,039$17,219$5,038
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.401.381.24
Program Expense/Total Expenses27%58%83%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$105,916$70,156$48,952
Current Assets$105,916$70,156$48,952
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$615$5,764$0
Total Net Assets$105,301$64,392$48,952
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities172.2212.17--
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years Yes
Organization Comments

Reaching Out From Within is a volunteer driven organization which took on a full time Executive Director as sole staff member in 2014. The average annual cost per participant served is approximately $100-$120, which is primarily raised through small donations and a small grants. Volunteers travel to prisons to sponsor groups and/or mentor individuals at their own expense. The average annual in-kind contribution made by volunteers is estimated at $130,000, roughly an equal amount to the total Organization operating budget.

Rapid program growth in the last 36 months has nearly doubled fundraising and total budget numbers over this period. The addition of the traveling portrait show "Faces of Change" by Kansas City photographer Nick Vedros puts a face behind the participants of Reaching Out From Within. This has created a unique opportunity for individuals visiting the show to interact with others in their communities in discussing ideas of punishment versus rehabilitation and how this impacts crime, recidivism, and tax expenditures. 
2016 also marked another year of expansion for Reaching Out From Within, as a fourth group was established in North Carolina. The Organization now has operating groups in every prison in Kansas in addition to the four North Carolina groups. Reaching Out From Within looks to expand to Missouri in 2017 and looks forward to working with the newly appointed corrections officials in this State.
Following a nationally aired CBS news special focused on the achievements of Reaching Out From Within, the Organization received interest from twenty six different states asking how they could bring ROFW into their prisons. We at Reaching Out From Within are committed to making this expansion a reality, but will stay the course on slow and steady growth to ensure sustainability.  
Organization Name Reaching Out From Within, Inc.
Address P.O. Box 8527
Prairie Village, KS 66208
Primary Phone (913) 428-9770
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Suzie Kemper
Board Chair Mr. Jason Miles
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Year of Incorporation 2008
Former Names
STOP Violence Program for Inmates