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Dismas: Cafe Without Prejudice

As one might guess from the name, Dismas is a cafe that does not hold any prejudice against those who have records of crime. The main objective is to achieve successful re-socialization and re-integration of people who just finished their prison sentence. 

The first cafe was located in Na Poříčí Street and opened in July 2014. At the end of February 2016, they moved to Růžová Street, where they gained more recognition and support from Prague 1 City District. It was a difficult process moving from Na Poříčí to Růžová, but the Ministry of Justice provided the staff with a fully equipped kitchen. The project manager also wanted the cafe to have an added value so they also made a section for children’s playroom. 

Dismas’ founder, Katerina Plhakova runs the cafe and sweet shop together with her mother Alena Pesanova. “At first we said that we do not want to work with people who have been convicted for torture or for rape. We did not have such people here. Most people are sitting for property crimes, scams. We also had one person who was convicted of murder. That’s what we were initially afraid of, but ultimately, knowing the wider context of all crimes, you look at it differently, “ says Katerina while describing the type of criminal records most often encountered.

They only hire those who really want to work and those who are motivated to stay. Employees are often not trained in the field and have no prior experience, so the cafe provides them with a variety of training courses. Everyone must go through gastronomic courses, as it is an obligatory training before being fully employed at the cafe.

Dismas also prepare all the food in the cafe and offer catering services to customers.

Address: Růžová 947/8, Nové Město, Prague.

Author: A.M.

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