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SC prosecutor lets people trade toys for community service

GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina prosecutor is again giving people a chance to get out of a little trouble this Christmas season by donating a new toy to needy children.

The program by the 8th Circuit Solicitor’s Office knocks off some community service time for people in programs mostly designed for first-time offenders, Solicitor David Stumbo told The Index-Journal of Greenwood.

“When we have these folks in our diversion programs, part of it is learning how to be a giver and not a taker,” Stumbo said.

Bicycles, action figures, board games, sports equipment and stuffed animals are already crowding offices. The drive runs through Dec. 10 and then the toys will be distributed through community organizations like the Abbeville Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army of Greenwood, the state Department of Social Services in Laurens and the sheriff’s office in Newberry County.

The offer is available for people in programs such as pre-trial intervention, drug court and veterans court.

“It’s a myth that prosecutors and cops just want to lock people up and throw away the key,” Stumbo said. “This is about balancing justice with mercy.”

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