Young Offenders Clean Up Graffiti In Kennewick - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Young Offenders Clean Up Graffiti In Kennewick

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Graffiti along many Kennewick streets is getting cleaned up.

"It looks horrible, who wants to live in a neighborhood that's completely tagged," said Sergeant Ken Lattin with the Kennewick Police Department.

Behind the work, are the hands of young offenders. The same hands that once broke the law.

"There's actually a lot of truancy kids that come through, we see a lot of malicious mischief kids," said Mark Hammer, Supervisor of the Grafitti Abatement Program.

It's all part of the Graffiti Abatement Program or GAP. Mark Hammer, is the supervisor. He says it gives young offenders an alternative to jail time.

"Kids are ordered to detention but they're given the option of doing work crew versus going to detention," said Hammer.

One goal is to keep the streets clean, by reducing the risk of re-offending.

"To get the kids involved and to understand the harm that's caused when people's property is vandalized," said Hammer.

The program is run by the Juvenile Justice Center, and funded by Kennewick Police.

"The kids really do take a lot of pride, from what I understand this is something that the kids look forward to to be able to come out here and work with mark hammer," said Lattin.

"We do not like to see the graffiti stay, that just encourages more," said Lattin.

It's money put to good use.