Rebound Proves Value in Giving People a Second Chance
As part of our profile series during Black History Month, we’re sharing more on local non-profit Inland Empire (IE) Rebound.
Owen Duckworth is the executive director of IE Rebound, an organization that works with justice-impacted men and women recently released from prison. Rebound provides a host of valuable services including life skills, family reunification, anger management training, job placement, housing services, and so much more.
Founded in 2015, IE Rebound is making an impact helping approximately three-to-four hundred individuals a year. For Duckworth, the work is personal as he was formerly incarcerated. Working with the County as part of a peer-to-peer model, Duckworth was a case manager counseling recently released individuals to reduce the recidivism rate. The model worked and over time, Duckworth used that experience to create IE Rebound.
“It’s important that we give people a second chance,” said Duckworth. “Everybody makes mistakes. We help them understand what they need to make lifestyle changes. The most important thing is family and community. We work alongside the individuals and help them navigate through that process even when it's hard. We show individuals how to use what they’ve learned along the way so that they can be productive citizens in their community.”
Duckworth is also a member of the county’s Equity Element Group. In this role, he works alongside many County leaders including the Police Chief and Chief of Probation, but as he shares, no one judges him by his past. “They look at who I am today, and it gives me hope, not only for myself, but for other young men and women who have made mistakes. They can accomplish the same thing, but you need to put the work in. People will only believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.”
Duckworth further believes that San Bernardino County is a trendsetter as many of the programs and initiatives started here are duplicated in other regions. “You have some of the strongest leaders here doing great work, from our Board of Supervisors to our county and local city leaders. Whether they are partnering with IE Rebound or other community-based organizations, the County’s leadership is making a strong and positive impact in this community.”