A successful university education leads to enhanced self-efficacy, civic engagement, and social and global awareness; it also enlarges the moral imagination and instills skills and habits that assist people in securing gainful employment and living meaningful, responsible lives. By making higher education more accessible and supporting formerly incarcerated students to excel in a course of study, Project Rebound constructs an alternative to the revolving door policy of mass incarceration in order to increase community strength and safety. We are committed to meeting the needs of students who often face a wide array of challenges that have caused them to be left behind.
We strive to provide each student with the individualized support that they need to succeed. We also act as a liaison with services and programs on and off-campus and advocate for people on campus and in the community.
By assisting formerly incarcerated students and connecting them with other supportive entities, Project Rebound at CSU Fullerton attempts to help students with their basic needs so that, through higher education, they can:
- cultivate skills in critical thinking and writing, oral communication, quantitative and ethical reasoning
- enhance their capacity for civic engagement and community leadership
- secure meaningful and gratifying employment
- empower themselves, their families, and their communities
- reduce their participation in behavior that is harmful to self, family, and community, including drug abuse and violence
- humanize public attitudes towards currently and formerly incarcerated people in order to facilitate reintegration and eliminate collateral consequences of criminal conviction related to social stigmatization and marginalization
Through our work, Project Rebound also aims to increase public awareness and inspire meaningful dialogue about higher education and criminal justice in California and the United States.
Following the lead of our community partner A New Way of Life Reentry Project, founded by Susan Burton, we maintain that:
- Every person has inherent value and holds the power of possibility and transformation within them.
- Public resources are better invested in education and other opportunities for transformation than prisons and punishment.
- The integration and leadership of formerly incarcerated people is essential to the work of creating solutions to the social crisis of mass incarceration.