70
      Sunday
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      Columbia launches youth crime prevention program

      Police in Columbia are launching a new program they hope will help steer kids away from crime.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Police in Columbia are launching a new program they hope will help steer kids away from crime.

      Acting Chief Ruben Santiago and Mayor Steve Benjamin on Friday are kicking off Operation R.I.S.K. That stands for Rescuing Inner City Students and Kids.

      "It includes ongoing mentoring on going couseling, it's a way to try and impose upon these young people just the gravity of the matter before us and the fact that we are willing to invest in them but it's going to require them to invest in themselves," said Mayor Benjamin.

      Officials say the program is designed to deter teenagers from getting into trouble and help them make the right decisions. It also aims to teach about the consequences of bad choices.

      Participants also stay overnight at a mock jail at a city courthouse to learn firsthand what it's like to be locked up.