Christie joins McGreevey at Hudson County Jail

Christie joins McGreevey at Hudson County Jail

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KEARNY, N.J. (AP) -

Gov. Chris Christie and former governor Jim McGreevey shared the spotlight Wednesday at a gathering with women inmates at the Hudson County Jail to tout McGreevey's counseling program.

McGreevey, a Democrat, is spiritual counselor to as many as 40 women who are taking part in the Integrity House pilot program. It aims to address the problems that keep inmates returning to jail, such as drug dependence and unemployment.

Christie, a Republican, has been an advocate for drug treatment to reduce the rate of recidivism.

During Wednesday's event, several women shared personal stories with Christie, often tearing up as they spoke of how they have turned their lives around.

Christie vowed to continue his efforts to help them and others. He said his drug court program will expand to all 21 counties within the next four years, along with treatment options for inmates.

The governor also spoke about changing attitudes about drug enforcement.

"Politics at times goes to the lowest common denominator and the easy answer, and the easiest answer is to say that 'We're throwing you in jail and that's that, you got what you deserve and don't cry to me about it, you did it to yourself,'" he said. "I think that's where our country was for a very long time. The fact is, I think the reason we're starting to see a change is because we are at our core a loving and caring people in this country, and we don't want to see lives thrown away."

McGreevey famously announced he was a "gay American" in 2004 and resigned soon after because he had an affair with a man whom he put on the state payroll.

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