Visions of Justice Workshop with Project Rebound 

Ninety percent of formerly incarcerated people who seek education stay out of prison, according to data from S.F. State and the Journal of Correctional Education, while the rate for those who don’t seek education is 30 percent. For the past fifty years, Project Rebound, has helped formerly incarcerated people attend college across the state of California. Many of the individuals they serve are first-generation college students, with no or limited university experience. For these reasons, recruitment can be challenging, but once enrolled Project Rebound has a proven track record of retention and ultimately providing a life-changing experience to members of the community they serve. In the last decade, 140 students have graduated from San Francisco State through Project Rebound, with a 95 percent graduation rate. 

The pilot “Visions of Justice” photography workshop was held August 20-23, 2018 at San Francisco State University, immersing court-involved youth in visual storytelling practices as a means to nurture self-expression, self-respect, and to explore their personal experiences and ideas of freedom and justice using photography. Partnerships, timing, and workshop methodologies were designed with an eye towards alleviating barriers that often impede court-involved youth from benefiting from Project Rebound’s higher education enrollment opportunities and support services. The workshop’s instructional team was lead by 2017 CatchLight Fellow and SF State Alum, Brian L. Frank, alongside SF State Alum/Professional Photographer, Justin Maxon, and CatchLight Impact & Engagement Manager, Jenny Stratton. This workshop was generously supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

“I haven’t felt creative like this since my childhood, which ended far too soon. This week brought me back to being a child in the most beautiful way. I feel like the people I’m around they don’t understand or value this creativity but you guys did. I feel like no one here judged me; the opposite people laughed at my jokes, liked my poetry, my photos. You all made me feel like my creativity mattered and the only real hard thing was that I didn’t want this week to end.”

See San Francisco Through the Eyes of Ex-Inmates.

Visions of Justice Exhibition at San Francisco State University
October 12, 2018 - November 12, 2018

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vice feature

Check out VICE’s coverage of the workshop and learn more about students Eugene Riley and Chris Shurn and their experience photographing in the Tenderloin.


Banner image: © Sarahbeth Maney