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This restaurant gave 200 former criminals a second chance - and none of them have reoffended

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Picture: Twitter / Edwins

Edwins is a high-end french cuisine restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, where ex-offenders make up most of the staff.

More than 200 students have gone through a six-month placement at Edwins since it opened in 2013.

Not one of them has reoffended, and 90 per cent have gone on to gain employment.

 

Each offender receives between 40 and 50 hours a week of free training, and work both back and front-of-house. 

And they really get stuck in:

 

The students graduate, too.

 

Owner Brandon Chrostowski, who named the restaurant after his middle name, explained to CNN the reason he runs the programme:

I was a reckless teenager, and one night, I was arrested and thrown in jail. Fortunately, I had a judge who gave me a break instead of 10 years in prison.

While I was on probation, I met a chef who mentored me. Once I was in that kitchen, I knew that's where I belonged for the rest of my life.

Seeing the struggle of coming home from prison, I think all the time, 'That could've been me.'

It just pushes me to work harder for them. We're giving an opportunity and believing in someone, just like that judge believed in me.

He also says that Edwins is short for “education wins”. 

 

If you ever find yourself in Cleveland, you may never find a better reason to gorge on cheese and wine. 


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