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Program gives first-time offenders second chance

Four inmates have the chance to start over after completing a first-time offender program.

Four inmates have the chance to start over after completing a first-time offender program.

The program for domestic violence was launched by the Hidalgo County District Attorney's Office last year.

To participate in the one-year program, offenders cannot have previous felonies and must accept a guilty plea to enter the probation and therapy sessions.

In March, the first class graduated from the program.

"What we've often seen for a Class A misdemeanor, at most, you can send someone to jail for one year," said Hidalgo County Assistant District Attorney Carlos Benavides. "And often times, many couples, or rather, offenders return to their victim and their victim may take them back for whatever reason."

The program is funded through a granted provided by the governor's office.

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