The following article appeared in The Triple Pundit> July 25, 2014
3p Weekend: 11 Companies That Hire the Formerly Incarcerated
It’s no secret that finding a job after being released from prison is an often insurmountable task, leading to skyrocketing recidivism rates across the country. While many companies are hesitant to hire the formerly incarcerated, a number of enterprises are taking a chance on these men and women — and, in turn, giving them a second chance at life.
1. Isidore Electronics Recycling
This Los Angeles-based e-waste recycling company has three missions: keep old electronics out of landfills, create long-term green jobs and reduce the city’s high recidivism rate by hiring formerly incarcerated Angelenos as employees.
"Here in California we have two problems – our landfills are overflowing, and our prisons are overflowing. We believe that we can help solve these two problems by creating green job prison reentry programs," Kabira Stokes, co-founder of Isidore Electronics Recycling, said in 2013. After around two years in operation, the company now employs more than a dozen people with plans to expand.
2. Delancey Street Restaurant
For 40 years, the San Francisco-based Delancey Street Foundation has provided a home and all services to thousands of residents at no cost to clients or local taxpayers. How? By creating its own revenue through social enterprises like Delancey Street Restaurant, a local favorite for its tasty eats and breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge.
In addition to helping out with funding, the restaurant also serves as a training space for residents trying to get back on their feet. “All tips are considered donations, and all restaurant proceeds after food costs go directly to house, feed and clothe our residents and teach all skills, values and attitudes needed for a successful drug-free and crime-free life in the mainstream society,” the foundation says on its website.
3. Felony Franks
Chicago paper company owner Jim Andrews hired dozens of ex-inmates in his nearly 20 years in the business. But in 2009, he decided to take things a step further by launching Felony Franks, a hot dog stand that hires only formerly incarcerated employees and provides on-the-job training to help them start a new life.
Although Andrews’ mission is a pertinent one, he clearly doesn’t take the whole thing too seriously: Along with the fun (and fabulously alliterated) name, Felony Franks’ menu includes items like the "misdemeanor wiener."
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