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At a debate last month between City Councilman Tony Young and challenger Barry Pollard, Pollard raised the issue of the coming influx of returning parolees into his community. In response to an audience member’s question, he tossed out the idea of tapping into the population of returning parolees to help keep southeastern San Diego neighborhoods clean.

His comment got me thinking, and last week I wrote this story about the challenges facing those parolees and their communities in the months to come.

Pollard chimed in on the comments section of my story with these thoughts about what he was referring to during that debate:

In order to better utilize the re-entry of released prisoners and to help keep our neighborhood cleaner (at an affordable cost), as was mentioned in the March 24 debate in SE San Diego, I would love to see a program similar to the one Cal Trans uses to maintain the cleanliness of our freeways. Have both misdemeanor offenders and perhaps newly released prisoners maintain certain areas within our community, cleaning grafitti, clearing brush from vacant lots, painting structures etc. There will be labor issues and liability issues certainly. This has obvious advantages and may need some tweaking but the concept appears to be sound………especially in this climate of financial scarcity within the City.

— ADRIAN FLORIDO

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