Tuesday, July 25, 2006Coming soon: your next trip to a Chicago hot dog stand may help an ex-con stay on the right side of the law. From CBS2 Chicago:
...four of [Chicago entrepreneur] Jim Andrews’ five employees have been to prison. He says they’re great employees. It’s just that former felons can seldom find work. "Once they're branded as ex-offender you might as well just tattoo ‘felon’ on their foreheads," Jim said.More on WBBM 780's website.
Enter the idea of Felony Frank’s Hot Dogs. Andrews will finance and license hot dog stores to former felons, turning ex-offenders into entrepreneurs through a foundation he set up three years ago. At the Michael Barlow Center, where formerly incarcerated men and women learn job skills to cope in the real world, Bob Dougherty knows giving them a job is important.
"(It’s) the component that really signs the deal as to whether or not they will remain on the positive side of the law," Dougherty said. That’s what Jim Andrews hopes to accomplish with the idea of his Felony Franks, where non-offenders need not apply. "It’s felons only," he said.
The Michael Barlow Center estimates that 80 percent of former felons with a job stay straight.