Tackling Graffiti in Carson City

By: Denise Wong Email
By: Denise Wong Email

Carson City, NV - Behind an old shopping center in North Carson City, an inmate work crew is hard at work cleaning up the graffiti they found Monday morning.

"They've hit this place before," says Don Quilici.

He supervises the ever-changing group. Inmates volunteer to do this since it gets them out of jail for a bit and helps them earn time off of their sentences. Quilici says it costs taxpayers nothing.

"I'm actually paid out of the inmate commissary fund, the funds they generate in the jail pays for what I do. The truck was donated from Southwest Gas," says Quilici.

The paint job may not be pretty; that's not the goal.

"The Sheriff wants it covered up as soon as possible," says Quilici, about any graffiti they notice around town.

That's why his crew doesn't have to ask permission. Even when they spot tagging on private property.

"We'll cover it, we'll clean it. If we paint something and somebody calls and they want it redone and they have the paint color, we'll come back and paint it again with their paint to help them out," says Quilici. "We're trying to be good neighbors with people, but we want to get this stuff eradicated."

Vandals recently hit Sierra Veterinary Hospital. You can see on the sign where crews had to clean things up.

"It was also across the top of our door," says Stephanie Ehlen, who called the sheriff's office to report the graffiti. A crew came and painted over it within an hour.

"We were shocked at the response and we were grateful that we didn't have to go a day with our customers walking in our door seeing the graffiti," says Ehlen.

The quick work is why the inmates in the program have been able to paint over 4,000 sites in the 17 months since they've started doing it. And as long as there's graffiti that keeps showing up, Don Quilici says his group will keep cleaning it up.

The Carson City Sheriff's Office is always accepting paint donations for the program. If you have any leftover or new paint you would like to donate, just call the Sheriff's Office's non-emergency main line at 775-887-2500 and a crew can pick it up.


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