The coffee plant from Illinois Second Chance Coffee Company, in order to reduce recidivism in the United States, has a policy of only hiring former inmates.
Recidivism is a serious issue in the United States. According to governmental statistics, in the state of Illinois, around 20,000 prisoners are released every year. But out of the 20,000 prisoners that are set free, at least 11,000 end up in jail again. And one of the main causes of recidivism is unemployment. It is simply really hard for former prisoners to find jobs once out of prison. However, Second Chance Company, which was founded by Pete Leonard, offers employment opportunities for ex-prisoners that are willing to work hard. Not only that, but this company only hires people that have lived being bars, which is why it conducts FBI checks.
The entrepreneur Leonard founded Second Chance Company in 2005 after witnessing how much former prisoners struggle when trying to re-enter society. A relative of Leonard, who had spent many years in prison, was not able to find work for a long time, which greatly affected his quality of life. So because Leonard wanted to make a difference and also help people in the situation of his relative, he founded the coffee plant. Leonard’s business is considered to be primer. The company also uses coffee beans from the top one percent in the industry.
Second Chance Coffee Company has changed many lives since its foundation and also dealt with unique cases. For instance, Louis Dooley, who had spent about 15 years in prison for armed robbery, was 35 years old when he was set free. And according to Dooley, he was not able to get a job for a long time in spite of his efforts. He also lacked work experience, which made things worst for him. But his situation changed when Second Chance Coffey, also known as I have a Bean, gave him a chance. Jim, another former employee of Second Chance Coffee Company, is now married and makes over $80,000 as a mechanic. He works for a utility company.
According to Leonard, nobody is perfect in this world, and we all make mistakes. Thus, we all deserve a second chance. Leonard, other than hiring highly motivated individuals, chooses his candidates very carefully. Also, all of his employees must stay out of crimes. There are no exceptions. Second Chance Coffee Company also plans to expand across the United States, becoming the most prominent post-prison employer in the country.