At-Risk Youths Removing Graffiti - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

At-Risk Youths Removing Graffiti

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--Cost to use the program depends on a cities population. However, on average, it will cost a city $30,000 each year.

The Graffiti Abatement program is just one of many projects under Benton-Franklin's Juvenile Justice Center Workgroup program. Currently, Benton City and Kennewick are customers. One to three times weekly, six to 10 at-risk youths spend six hours a day removing graffiti on city, state, even private properties with the owners permission.

Their efforts help restore confidence in the community.

"They see gang graffiti underneath the overpass," says Supervisor Graffiti Abatement program Mark Hammer. They don't feel safe walking there so, it's important that we get out there, cover it up as fast as we can so, that more graffiti doesn't happen and the community feels safe.

Each city has the option of utilizing the Graffiti Abatement program. If they do, their fee will pay for staff, transportation related expenses to graffiti spots, and materials including special chemicals which Hammer says are pretty expensive.