Via the Washington Post
George Henry, a fast-talking man in his early 40s, takes two buses and a subway each day to attend an intensive Baltimore job-training program catering to ex-offenders. Over a six-month course with several dozen other men at the Civic Works Center for Sustainable Careers, Henry has been learning how to weatherize homes — to blow insulation, fix drafty windows and work in cramped attics. Fellow trainees learn solar-panel installation, brownfields cleanup, landscaping and other skills for jobs where a felony conviction isn’t an automatic disqualifier.
For Henry, the toughest thing about life after prison hasn’t been learning new skills, the dangers of working in construction or even his criminal record. His biggest hurdle has been not having a driver’s license, the result of a license suspension for about $700 in unpaid traffic fines he still owed when he left prison. Without a valid license, getting to class on time has been a daily challenge, and his prospects for finding a job he can get to without access to reliable transportation are dim. “It’s the weight of the tickets,” Henry said. “You can’t drive and be productive.”
Continue reading at the Washington Post.