August 09, 2022
Formerly incarcerated students who are pursuing degrees at Sacramento State soon will have a home near campus where they can live, study, and plan for the future after their release from prison.
Total funding of $1.1 million will finance the home and its operation, the money coming from a $550,000 grant from the Project Rebound Consortium and $275,000 each from Sac State’s auxiliary University Enterprises, Inc. (UEI), and the office of President Robert S. Nelsen.
Project Rebound is part of a statewide network of programs that support the higher education and successful reintegration of students who have been incarcerated. Sac State’s Project Rebound program will oversee the housing program.
Students selected to live at the home will have a quiet place to gather and access to a variety of wraparound services, including peer support, tutoring, and technology help.
Project Rebound, launched in 1967 at San Francisco State by a former prison inmate who became a college professor, has satellites on 14 CSU campuses and last year enrolled 566 students. Since 2016, 492 degrees have been conferred to Project Rebound students. Fewer than 1% of project participants return to prison, compared to an overall recidivism rate of 46% among California inmates.
“This house will make a real difference in the lives of formerly incarcerated people and their families.” — Trish Morris, associate professor of Sociology and Project Rebound executive director
Sac State’s housing program will be the second in the state and first in Northern California. The University will model its program after Cal State Fullerton’s Project Rebound home.
Studies show that prison education helps reduce crime and contributes to stronger, safer communities.
The University has long partnered with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide education to state prisoners through its Transforming Outcomes Project. People incarcerated at Folsom and Mule Creek state prisons can apply for the program, in which Sac State faculty teach classes virtually and in person within the prisons to help inmates obtain college degrees.
Project Rebound came to Sac State in 2015, and serves 50 to 60 students each year. The project helps formerly incarcerated students obtain transcripts, access a wide range of campus services, apply for grants and scholarships, and otherwise carve a path to academic success.
None of the hundreds of former inmates who have participated in Project Rebound at Sac State since its inception have returned to prison “to our knowledge,” said Trish Morris, an associate professor of Sociology and executive director of the campus program. Many Project Rebound participants have enrolled in graduate studies or gained employment in the region, she said.
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