REDMOND, Ore. - Graffiti has become a problem in several cities around Central Oregon, and the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office has launched a program that beautifies the community and also puts jail inmates to work.
The inmate work crew was in Redmond on Friday, cleaning up graffiti and picking up trash in some neighborhoods.
The new online service to report graffiti and large piles of trash was launched just a few weeks ago and the Sheriff's Office has been getting several emails from people who want help in cleaning up their neighborhood.
"It's nice to get out. It helps pass the time a bit," one work crew inmate said.
The group of inmates is painting over graffiti and removing it from buildings to walls across the county.
According to the sheriff's office, graffiti vandalism goes unreported for weeks or months and can lead to increased crime in the neighborhood.
Sheriff's Deputy Darren Sample told NewsChannel 21 the program is a win-win for the community and the sheriff's office.
"It give them a chance to give back instead of just sitting there. A lot of times, this is the first time they (the inmate crew) are hearing they're doing a good job," Sample said.
Last month, the work crews saw our story about trash being dumped on Phil's Trail west of Bend, and in just a few hours, the crew went out and cleaned it up.
"It's just a gratifying feeling, like you're actually helping out, vs. just hanging out," one inmate worker said.
For Korlyn Deering, she's grateful someone is cleaning up the neighborhood after vandals targeted her garage.
Visit the website at https://sheriff.deschutes.org/ and click on reporting graffiti under quick links on their main page for more information.