NBC's DATELINE to Air Drug Dealer Exposé 'Intersection', 3/17

NBC's DATELINE to Air Drug Dealer Exposé 'Intersection',  3/17

On Sunday, March 17 at 7pm/6c , NBC's "Dateline" will give viewers a raw and uncensored look into the lives of eight drug dealers given the rare opportunity to transform through a controversial drug Intervention program. For a full year, "Dateline" is inside the program capturing the dramatic personal journeys of the criminals trying to reform; of the heroic police officers struggling to work with criminals instead of against them; and of the working class neighborhood trying desperately to save itself.

The city of North Charleston, standing just ten miles from beautiful historic Charleston, is a gritty, blue collar city that battles the demons of drugs, prostitution, and crime. In 2011, in effort to transform the city, U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles created a year-long experimental program called STAND (Stop and Take A New Direction) in effort to combat drug crime in the area.

STAND takes a three-pronged approach. First, the neighborhood's most stubborn and violent dealers are arrested. Next, residents attend bond hearings to influence judges to set bail too high for the dealers to make. Then, rather than sending the low level drug dealers to jail, STAND uses intense Intervention with education, employment and counseling to transform them from law-breakers to law-abiding citizens for good. The purpose of STAND is to stop the revolving door of justice that often leads to dealers back on the street the same day they are arrested.

At the center of if all are two narcotics detectives: Charity Prosser, a 39-year-old mother and wife and Jamel Foster, a Navy veteran and father of four. Initially, both are reluctant to join the program they derisively call "Hug a Thug," but during a remarkable year they come to help, and even love, the eight would-be criminals they take under their wing.

Dateline cameras roll as a SWAT team storms through the Community on the hunt for drug dealers; as neighbors show up in court to confront them; and as eight individuals are guided towards life without drugs and prison. It is a year of surprising successes, devastating failures, and ultimate victories. Viewers witness the shocking transformations of both the dealers and the detectives trying to save them, as both sides learn to trust and help each other - as well as themselves.