STEP graduates on the path to a better life - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

STEP graduates on the path to a better life

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima U.S. District Court celebrated their first graduation for the newly created Sobriety Treatment and Education Program, also known as, STEP.

The graduation, Led by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hutton, took place Tuesday afternoon at the William O. Douglas Building.

STEP aims to help people gain back sobriety from substance abuse, after they're released from federal prison.

It also focuses on the importance of employment in preventing relapse.

Janelle Cingle, Sergio Inocencio and Danny Nash were the first to graduate through the new program.

"I lost everything due to my addiction. My kids, my family, my life. Thanks to the support of the STEP team, I have a job, goals, and a new life," said Cingle.

Each STEP team includes a federal defender, an assistant U.S. Attorney, a probation officer, and a treatment provider specializing in chemical dependency.

So far three people have graduated from the program.