EDWINS restaurant, led by Brandon Chrostowski, gives those who have had a run-in with the law another chance. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Chrostowski aims to provide people who have spent time in prison a shot at a proper life once they get out. EDWINS, which is short of education wins, comprises of a six-month program that provides clothes, housing, a library, and even a small farm. Students can take a wide range of classes covering all things they may come across in the culinary industry.
Chrostowski said that his long-term goal is to change the perception of those who have spent time in prison or struggle with hard times or addiction. Chrostowski himself was given a second-chance early in life, where a forgiving judge handed him probation instead of the possible five to ten years he could’ve had.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, recidivism rates are as high as 83 percent within nine years of release from prison in the United States. Compared to EDWINS rates of 1.4 percent of its 350 graduates—vocational experience speaks wonders. Chrostowski said, “When I’m here, and you’re here with someone who’s focused, and dedicating their life to the culinary arts, to improving, to fulfilling potential—there’s no greater space to be in with another human being.”