NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - They're stepping toward a new direction.
Monday, five participants graduated from Phase I of the S.T.A.N.D. program, a voluntary program through the North Charleston police department, created to offer ex-offenders a second chance.
For the last four months, participants have completed job training, counseling, and community service.
The 2014 class started with eight people, and ended with five graduates.
U.S. Attorney for South Carolina, William Nettles said the voluntary program represents leadership in North Charleston, and across the state.
"It is wonderful to see law enforcement recognize that incarceration is not the goal," he said.
"The goal of law enforcement is to improve the quality of lives of people who live in those communities."
Program administrator, Sgt. Charity Prosser of NCPD, said officers couldn't be more proud of Monday's graduating class.
"They have shown their desire to become productive citizens despite prior obstacles.”
Participants for the next class have already been selected, and will begin in January.