Mattress Company Gives Former Inmates Second Chance By Hiring Them No Matter What

More companies should do this.

Everyone makes mistakes and one mattress company in Topeka, Kan., understands that better than most. 

Memory Foam Liquidators, a company that manufactures memory foam products, hires inmates no matter their offense, specifically former inmates from the Shawnee County Jail and Topeka Correctional Facility.

The Department of Labor does not track the amount of inmates who get jobs after their release, but NBC reported that experts estimate an unemployment rate of 40 percent to 60 percent. The inmates, unable to find jobs or employers to hire them tend to return to prison. 

Former inmate Richard Cobbs told Business Insider last October that no matter what he tells companies in interviews, they don't give him a chance. 

"I try to tell people, 'Listen, I made a mistake. I was young and I'm sorry. Give me a chance,'" he said. "It seems like it falls on deaf ears all the time."

Memory Foam Liquidators CEO Chris Farmer doesn't want to follow in the path of other employers.

"They are just people like you and me, and you know it's something you don't expect to realize because you're really judging them before you even see them," he told WIBW. 

They also go a step forward. To help decrease turnover, the company makes sure each employee that needs it has a ride to and/or from work. WIBW reports that one of the fellow employees picks up around 30 people each shift and Farmer will take them home. They also receive time off and health benefits. 

On a broader scale, organizations have formed initiatives to get more people with convictions a second chance in the workplace, among those being the National Employment Law Project. It runs an initiative called "Ban the Box." 

The initiative helps pass legislation that gives rights to those who have strikes against them, helping the workforce to see that they still have potential. 

"You're still human like everyone else and it does give you self worth that you can rise above the past,"Jennifer Keylon, a former inmate, told the station. 



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