Monday, September 9, 2013

Parolees Help Fight Litter

Caltrans in collaboration with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) initiated the Caltrans Parolee Program (CPP) beginning this month to help combat litter along Los Angeles freeways.

Under the supervision of a CDCR vendor working in coordination with Caltrans District 7’s Division of Maintenance, two crews of eight parolees will clear trash and debris alongside the freeway.  The crews will work Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week. 

“Our crew numbers and resources have been drastically diminished due to budget shortfalls, so we need all the help we can get to keep California beautiful,” said Acting District Director Carrie Bowen.  “District 7 has 1,200 lane miles of the busiest freeways in the US, and nearly 9,000 acres of landscaping, so our crews have an ever mounting challenge in front of them.”

“Everyone wins with this program,” said the Director of CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations, Dan Stone.   “Parolees are being productive as they reintegrate into their communities.  Caltrans gets the help they need, and California’s taxpayers enjoy cleaner highways while saving money.”

The CPP began as a pilot project in February 2009 in the County of Sacramento.  The County of Sacramento saw a recidivism rate of 51 percent for parolees not enrolled in the CPP.  Parolees that participated in the program had a recidivism rate of 5 percent.  Currently there are programs running in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Oakland, Fresno, and San Bernardino counties.

Statewide Caltrans spent $52 million on litter removal, collecting enough litter, trash, and debris from freeways to fill more than 10,000 garbage trucks. Parked end-to-end, those trucks would stretch more than 50 miles.  In the last fiscal year, District 7 spent $12 million picking up 43,611 cubic yards of litter and also spent $2.4 million cleaning up 3.3 million square feet of graffiti.

Caltrans reminds motorists to Slow for the Cone Zone and Move Over.