Gov. Chris Christie says he plans to expand New Jersey's drug court program, a diversion program for nonviolent offenders that steers them to treatment and job training rather than prison.

Currently about 1,400 defendants a year go through the program.

The governor made his announcement Monday during a visit to the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden. The soup kitchen participates in the current program by providing training to ex-convicts.

Christie says more effort needs to be put into treatment and training for offenders so they can return to productive roles in society.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)