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Grow Your Business Your Team

Life After Prison: Would You Hire an Ex-Con?

Life After Prison: Would You Hire an Ex-Con?

With an unemployment rate near record levels, finding a job can be difficult.  When you’ve served time in prison, the odds against you increase exponentially.

There are more than 6 million ex-prisoners in the United States, according to a recent study, with 600,000 added to the total every year. Research suggests the best way to keep them from landing behind bars again is to reinvest in them, which includes finding them employment , but most business owners are reluctant to give them a shot.

Some, though, take the chance.

Taking a chance

Chicago paper company owner Jim Andrews has hired dozens of ex-offenders in his 14 years in the business. He encourages other employers not to make a snap judgment based on the fact that someone served jail time.

"There are a lot of good people that are coming out of prison. Let’s not brand these people and make it harder for them," Andrews told BusinessNewsDaily. "The ones that want to stay out of jail and make a better life for themselves just work harder. They don’t want to go back and sit in prison.”

[Four reasons to hire an ex-con]
Impressed by the ex-convicts he hired, Andrews opted to build an entire business around them. He launched Felony Franks in Chicago in 2009. The hot dog stand has a menu featuring items like the "Misdemeanor Weiner" and "Pardon Polish."


Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.