Prison and Jail

Second Chance Employment: Making an Impact by Hiring Formerly Incarcerated People

This webinar explores the importance of considering the employment of people who are returning from our prisons and jails and those who are in recovery. The conversation was led by two people who are very familiar with this important issue.

Rob Perez is the founding owner of DV8 Kitchen, a successful restaurant in Kentucky that continues to be a leading second chance employer. Joining Rob is Savvy Shabazz, a returning citizen, who has focused his life’s work on providing links to training and employment to justice-impacted young adults.

Recorded Webinar 


Savvy Kareem-Abdul Shabazz, Life Coach at Each One, Teach One Reentry Fellowship

Before joining The Bail Project, Savvy Kareem-Abdul Shabazz was the Assistant Director of Student Success and Community Engagement with the 15K Rise Together Initiative at Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Kentucky. He is very active in his community leading and serving with initiatives that work to improve the livelihoods and outcomes of Black youth. After he was sentenced to 28 years in prison for drug offenses, he dedicated himself to standing on “Life Coach…Each One, Teach One Reentry Fellowship,” which brings awareness and prevention to the 3 P’s (Prison, Probation, and Parole).

Rob Perez, Founder and Owner of DV8 Kitchen

With 30 years of restaurant experience, Rob has seen first-hand how to build restaurant brands and how prevalent addiction is in the industry he loves. Along with his wife Diane, he founded Dv8 Kitchen as a social enterprise focused on giving second chance employment opportunities to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction through vocational, on-the-job training. Dv8 Kitchen focuses on providing top-quality food, service and atmosphere for every guest, and by providing “a better-than-expected” dining experience, the hope is to build a new standard for the second chance employee to live by and to change the way the guests perceive people in addiction recovery.

Rev. Dean Bucalos, J.D., NBA Mission Specialist for Prison & Jail Ministries

Rev. Dean Bucalos was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and has served as the pastor of congregations in Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. He is the founding pastor of New Life in Christ Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a congregation he began inside a women’s re-entry facility in Louisville, Kentucky. He is the former executive director of Mission Behind Bars and Beyond, an ecumenical re-entry program that trains small, faith-based groups to work with returning citizens upon their release from prison. He retired from the organization in 2020.