Resource, Information, Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD)
was formed by Lillie Branch-Kennedy, a
former government employee in 2001 in response to the
barriers she experienced while engaging the criminal
justice system on behalf of her son, a first time offender, currently incarcerated.
RIHD was formed with other volunteers in similar situation,
to educate and empower Virginia families and communities
on the negative impact of a racially-disparate system to
mass incarceration and through educational outreach to
reduce the level of societal disenfranchisement of the formerly incarcerated.
RIHD is a small, but extremely effective, all-volunteer
nonprofit, known for its ground-level work in assisting
and empowering the incarcerated and their families
through grassroots and "self-help" initiatives.
RIHD provides direct services to the incarcerated and their
families including low-cost transportation for families to visit
loved ones incarcerated at many of Virginia distant and overly
rural prisons. RIHD also provides outreach and education on
unfair sentencing laws, the restoration of rights for the formerly incarcerated, the benefits of “Banning the Box,” in employment,
and support for families attempting
to understand and navigate the criminal justice system.