Project Rebound, the campus-based re-entry program for the formerly incarcerated that assists them as students at Cal State San Bernardino, will host an orientation for those interested in participating in the program.

Presented by the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center, the orientation will take place from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, in the Santos Manuel Student Union Fourplex (SU 217-218).

Project Rebound at Cal State San Bernardino is modeled after San Francisco State’s Project Rebound that helps formerly incarcerated students prepare for, apply to, enroll in, and graduate with high-quality degrees from CSUSB. The program was established at CSUSB in 2016 by professors Carolyn Eggleston (special education), the project’s senior adviser, and Annika Anderson (sociology), the project’s director and principle investigator.

“We invite all formerly incarcerated individuals to attend the orientation, learn about the resources that we provide and make suggestions for how we can build a community that supports our formerly incarcerated students,” Anderson said. “We know that their challenges extend beyond educational attainment (e.g. housing and employment), so we also want to help them navigate these issues, as we partner with community organizations.”

Project Rebound is an alternative to the revolving door policy of the criminal justice system. By offering a program that encourages students to excel in a course of study, Project Rebound encourages positive life efforts. The program offers admission for men and women who might not normally qualify for university acceptance because of application deadlines and/or minor academic deficiencies.

California has historically suffered from one of the highest recidivism rates in the nation, with two-thirds of those released from prison returning within a few years. For those participating in college programs, the odds of returning to prison are reduced by 51 percent. In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, the percentage of Project Rebound students who returned to prison was just 3 percent.

Though it has been on campus for little more than a year, Project Rebound has had several successes. One is the overwhelming support that the CSUSB community has expressed, from the university President Tomás D. Morales and the deans of CSUSB’s academic colleges. Not only has there been support coming from the upper echelon of the university, but numerous faculty, staff and students have expressed interest in Project Rebound.

Project Rebound has also established relationships with community colleges and three re-entry centers, and has provided outreach efforts to potential students who are currently incarcerated at several prisons (such as Chino Institute for Women, Chino Institute for Men, CRC Norco, and Chuckawalla prison).

The CSUSB School of Social Work has developed an internship program for Project Rebound. As a result, the project hired a coordinator (who is also an intern) and one intern — both pursuing Masters in Social Work (MSW) at CSUSB — in August 2017. Additionally, it is working with the Department of Criminology, Law & Society at the University of California, Irvine to have Project Rebound students attend UC Irvine’s Social Justice Research Symposium.

The project also has made arrangements with the Coyote Bookstore so that each student can purchase textbooks using Project Rebound funds.

This CSU effort involves the CSU campuses in Pomona, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Fresno, Fullerton, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. It is funded through a $500,000 “Renewing Communities” grant from The Opportunity Institute.

Visit the Project Rebound website, email or call (909) 537-4351 for more information.