TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill this morning at the Rescue Mission in Trenton that is aimed at changing the way New Jersey's criminal justice system deals with drug users.

The legislation expands eligibility for the state's drug court program and mandates that nonviolent, drug-dependent offenders receive treatment rather than prison time.

It phases in a statewide program over a five-year period, beginning with at least three counties in the first year. The Legislature and the governor will receive yearly reports on the program, including completion and revocation rates, recidivism rates and costs.

Gov. Christie: Drug treatment, not jail, needed for many