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Project Rebound Arrives at California State University, Northridge

NORTHRIDGE, CA - This fall California State University, Northridge welcomed a program that helps formerly incarcerated students successfully reintegrate into society through a mentorship program.

Photo, CSUN Project Rebound

The Project Rebound program at CSUN strives to connect formerly incarcerated students to better opportunities and mentors.


The program’s creator, John Irwin, was formerly incarcerated for five years. After his release from prison, Irwin became a Professor of Sociology and Criminology at San Francisco State University. In 1967, he created Project Rebound. It was a way to transition people who were involved in the criminal justice system into education spaces. The program expanded to all CSUs in 2016.


Maria Martinez, a student intern, says programs like Project Rebound help people become productive members of society.


“It helps people to not go back to those ways, and be productive members of society,” said Martinez.


Incarceration does not mean it is the end of the world according to CSUN Project Rebound Executive Director Martha Escobar who wants students to understand how coming out of incarceration can lead them in the right direction. With that knowledge, they can move forward.


“With that develop our collective understanding of how incarceration has become a social tool and then too for the students themselves to empower themselves with that knowledge,” said Escobar.


Project Rebound helps people avoid many of their old habits.


The program’s guiding values are the Intrinsic Value of Persons, Equitable Access to Education, Formerly Incarcerated Leadership, Education as Public Safety and Civic Engagement. With these values, they can ensure the program will help others in a positive way.


“We have some individuals that have like five children, but they’re trying to better themselves for their children, for themselves, and for the community. It’s like why not have the program,” Martinez said.


Project Rebound is open to everyone at CSUN. To connect with the program, go to csun.edu/humanities/project-rebound.

Video, Alexis Amezcua

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