Benny Se Teo spent many of his early years in prison for drug charges. When he was released, he faced the reality of just how hard it can be to find a job with a criminal record. His break came when he got to train as a chef through a program for disadvantaged youth in London. This opportunity inspired him, and he modeled the plan for his future after this program; he started a business that trains former prisoners in Singapore in the restaurant industry. Benny Se Teo’s restaurant chain with five locations currently employs nearly 70 formerly incarcerated men and women, and four more of his restaurants will be opening next year. This is Benny’s dream: helping former prisoners rebuild their lives.
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You can help former prisoners rebuild their lives, too. Prison Fellowship’s advocacy team is presently working to garner legislative support for the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which Congress originally passed in 2008. Since then, the act has brought dramatic decrease in recidivism rates as a result of evidence-based reentry programs. If Congress does not pass the act, the continuation of mentoring, career training, family-based substance abuse treatment, and more restorative programming may be in jeopardy.
To support the Second Chance Reauthorization Act, which will help former prisoners transition back into their communities as law-abiding and contributing members of society, please visit www.justicefellowship.org.