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Steve Cooley
First Step program gives girls a chance to put street life behind them
First Step program gives girls a chance to put street life behind them

A few years ago, she would have been considered a "juvenile delinquent" and the horror visited upon her called a "victimless crime." On Friday, she was celebrated as a role model by the very people who once would have helped herd her into jail — in a courthouse ceremony that reflected our justice system at its wise and compassionate best. "I want to thank you all for never giving up on me," the tearful 17-year-old, in heels and hoop earrings, told prosecutors gathered to honor the first graduates of a diversion program for teens arrested for prostitution. "There were times I wanted to do nothing; just turn back to the streets and forget about...

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