Statistics show the majority of Cook County Jail’s inmates end up behind bars again within three years of their release. But a unique program led by
Bruno Abate, owner of Tocco in Chicago, has brought
usable job skills and a renewed sense of hope to hundreds of inmates who are ready to break the cycle.
With high-quality ingredients from Italy and his own
unflagging faith and optimism, Abate aims to change
the lives of those whom society tends to forget. His
e;orts, inspired by what he considers a sign from above,
recently landed him on 60 Minutes, but Abate found a
little time to talk to PMQ, too.
PMQ: WHAT INSPIRED THE RECIPE FOR CHANGE
Abate: One morning, around 3 a.m., my TV suddenly
came on. I didn’t turn it on. A documentary about the
American prisons was showing. I watched for a while, and
suddenly I had this feeling like I needed to do something
to make things better. I got up, and I wrote furiously for
hours about what I needed to do. When I woke up again
in the morning, I found 10 pages that told me what to
do. It’s like God called me and gave me the map.
Responding to a sign from above, Bruno Abate, owner of Tocco in Chicago, is helping detainees in
Cook County Jail find a new path with pizza. By Liz Barrett
RECIPE FOR CHANGE | COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
Pizza is just one way that Bruno Abate is showing Cook County Jail inmates that it’s possible to
choose a new life path.