Under the leadership of Chancellor Timothy White and the Board of Trustees, the California State University (CSU) is launching a groundbreaking initiative to significantly expand college access for current and formerly incarcerated people. Eight CSU campuses - including San Diego State - are participating in the replication of San Francisco State’s award-winning Project Rebound.
Project Rebound is a special admissions and support program for students transitioning out of prison. It has helped hundreds of individuals earn bachelor’s and mater’s degrees since 1967. Project rebound has a proven model to promote restorative justice, reduce recidivism, and empower individuals through higher education.
SDSU Professor Alan Mobley is directing a team of faculty, staff, and students who will assist participants. In addition to serving returning students, Project Rebound also provides formerly incarcerated students an opportunity to “give back” by collaborating on justice solutions.
“Traditional students will gain a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions that give rise to crime,” said Mobley. “Students will learn restorative justice practices alongside justice-involved students to find ways out of the ‘revolving door’ of justice system involvement.”
Each university will develop a campus-based re-entry program to help individuals prepare for college, apply for admission, enroll, persist, and graduate ready to enter the workforce. The SDSU Project Rebound includes the on- and off-campus networks required for prospective and enrolled students to succeed.
Participating CSU campuses and partners form a learning community to serve students pre- and post-release. Project Rebound partners will share results and disseminate best practices to other campuses and college systems. As the largest four-year university system in the country, the CSU has the potential to further develop the knowledge and research of campus-based reentry programs. These initiatives can also reduce crime, improve public safety, restore communities devastated by mass incarceration, and reverse the “school to prison pipeline.”