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Someone You Should Know: Barber Instructor To Inmates

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Barbershop college instructor Larry Roberts helps Cook County inmates learn a trade. (CBS)

Barbershop college instructor Larry Roberts helps Cook County inmates learn a trade. (CBS)

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Harry Porterfield co-anchors the 11 AM news with Roseanne Tellez and...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — He has four businesses to be concerned about, but he still finds time to do something to change the lives of inmates at the Cook County jail.

Inside the jail is a barber college established in conjunction with correctional authorities and Larry Roberts.

Roberts is also a franchiser of two barber salons and owner of two barber colleges. Although he doesn’t profit from the jail house barber college, he’s happy that those who become his students do.

“Now we’ve got something that we could take out there and make something better with it,” inmate Andy Rodriguez says.

One of the pluses of this school is that it not only gives an opportunity to an inmate to learn a skill but it also makes available a free haircut to every inmate here.

It isn’t all hands-on barbering they learn. Classroom sessions are conducted by Roberts’ first student, Bobby Matteson. They study physiology, anatomy and bacteriology, along with how to compose a resume and write a business plan.

“We make six digits cutting hair, so I’m trying to teach these guys how to do the same thing,” Roberts says. “They don’t have to do things where they have to come back to this institution ever again.”

Larry Roberts is someone you should know.

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