YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima County's Gang Court celebrated its first two graduates today.
It's the first program of its kind in the country. Kids charged with crimes can choose to go through it instead of serving time in prison. The program aims to keep them from going back to the gang lifestyle. They're required to go through different therapies, treatments, and training.
"They're strong. They have a lot of family support now. There's been a lot of healing and I feel very comfortable about how much they've accomplished," says Yakima County Superior Court Judge Susan Hahn.
The county has 6 other kids going through the program right now.
Yakima County's efforts inspired Washington legislators to sign a gang court bill into law a few months ago, allowing other counties to create similar programs.