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

TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie has unveiled a plan to order most nonviolent drug offenders into treatment rather than jail.

Christie says treatment programs free up jail space, save the state money and give people a second chance.Christie's proposal would expand drug courts to all 21 counties and require those charged with low-level drug crimes to undergo an assessment to determine whether they have a drug problem and should undergo treatment.

Drug courts now offer a voluntary treatment option for low-level offenders who plead guilty to drug charges.

The proposal requires approval from the Legislature.

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