Officials announce program for teenagers charged with criminal offenses

Published: Sep. 19, 2016 at 2:46 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2016 at 11:02 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County leaders announced a new program to give teenagers charged with criminal offenses a second chance.

The Interagency Governance Agreement for the Misdemeanor Diversion Program will provide first-time offenders ages 16 and 17, who are charged with non-violent crimes, an alternative to formal prosecution.

Law enforcement will refer teen offenders to the program, which includes a mock trial and discussion of what repercussions would be involved with their crime.

The teenagers will also complete at least 10 hours of community service.

The county will fund the MDP program.

Officials said during a press conference Monday that the program will help teenagers recover from mistakes that would otherwise influence the rest of their adult lives.

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