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July 25, 2006 - WBBM Newsradio 780 (IL)

Businessman Sees 'Felony Franks' A Way To Help Ex-Offenders

Steve Miller Reporting

Return to Drug War News: Don't Miss Archive

CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio 780) -- If a near-West Side businessman gets his way, Chicago and the rest of the country will one day be full of hot dog stands that hire only one kind of employee: ex-offenders.

WBBM Newsradio 780's Steve Miller reports the idea is getting a warm reception from Congressman Danny Davis.

Felony Franks. That's what Jim Andrews wants to call the hot dog stands.

"We would have a Pardon Burger. We would have a Misdemeanor Wiener," Andrews says.

Andrews is serious about his mission: to give jobs to people who have a hard time finding jobs. Ex-offenders who were convicted felons.

"If they didn't have a criminal background, you know what? And you came in and filled out an application and you didn't have a felony background? We would probably put it on the side, like is being done today to the felons."

Andrews says he knows from experience that ex-offenders are good workers. That's all he's hired in the past five years at his paper company on West Randolph Street.

"It's the best crew I've ever had in my life."

Andrews is legally blind.

He is committed to starting a chain of Felony Franks, and Congressman Danny Davis, whose district includes Andrews' company, says it's an "excellent idea."

"It's an exciting approach, and it's something that I'd really like to see developed."

Andrews imagines Felony Franks as a place with a black and white striped-awning and windows with bars on them.

Perhaps kitschy, but to the point.

Jim Andrews is starting to raise the approximately $150,000 he thinks it'll take.

Jim Andrews' organization is the Rescue Foundation, 845 W. Randolph St., Chicago, Ill. 60607, 312-421-2500, on the Web at

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