Residents and visitors to San Francisco continue to reap the many benefits of the public service work undertaken by parolees under the supervision of San Francisco Unit 1. Continuing those efforts, a group of more than 30 parolees and agents participated in the 2010 San Francisco Arbor Day Community Cleanup Day. The event is organized in part by Unit Supervisor Ken Wong, and is sponsored by various San Francisco city and county agencies.
For the past 10 years, Unit 1 Supervisor Ken Wong and unit agents have planted trees, cleaned up graffiti and picked up trash in local parks. The Arbor Day event marked the 10-year anniversary of their efforts, which were officially marked with a certificate of honor from the San Francisco County Department of Public Works for 10 years of program participation.
“As the facilitator of the community clean-up, it is vital for parolees to give back to the community,” Wong said, adding that “it helps to restore their sense of worth while restoring the community’s faith in them.” Wong noted that these kinds of activities are consistent with the guidelines set up by the new parole model instituted by Robert Ambroselli, Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations.
Back in 2000, Wong sought a method for parolees to give back to the community. With this in mind, he approached San Francisco officials asking for materials and tools for parolees to take to the community to clean parks. Several months later, he took a group of 10 parolees out to clean up local parks, streets and buildings that were tagged with graffiti. Since then, Wong and his staff have expanded the program to monthly community clean ups, and more than 1,000 parolees have participated in the effort.