Stricter Punishments for Graffiti Vandals - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Stricter Punishments for Graffiti Vandals

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By Dana Griffin

PROVIDENCE, RI- Vandals caught defacing property with graffiti could face up to a year in prison under a plan in the works in the Rhode Island Senate. Not everyone is in favor of the tougher punishments.

Some street art supporters think that providing a place for artists to express themselves, may be a better solution.

"This bill has some severe penalties for those who perpetuate graffiti on public and private property and it's time," said Sen. Maryellen Goodwin.

The consequences include jail time and fines. Minors would have to write an apology and the court could make their parents pay for the damage.

Elizabeth Bland says she supports graffiti artists, but not vandalism. "They have talents but there's a place for their talent and not on a wall."

Yarrow Thorne, street art supporter said, "I think graffiti in itself is misinterpreted. I think it's a word that people come up with who don't understand what public art really is."

At Avenue Concepts, street art is encouraged. Artists from all over the world have left their marks on its building.

Sen. Goodwin adds, "In the Smith Hill neighborhood we have a wall that has some fabulous art work there. That kind of thing I'm very supportive of."

The bill will be voted on this Thursday by the State Senate.


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