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The Philadelphia DA’s office has its own “summer program” for its first-year prosecutors: tours of crack houses and gang-ridden neighborhoods. “Many of these assistant DA’s come from good families and have never seen devastated areas,” said Christopher Sample, director of community and governmental relations at the DA’s office. “We try and give them a view of the good and the bad, which has a profound impact on the way they view their cases after this.” Three dozen first-year prosecutors took a bus trip to North Philadelphia over the weekend, witnessing among other things a real life drug bust deliberately timed by the police for their tour, and surveying neighborhoods which were once drug-ridden but now revived through community efforts.

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