BURLINGTON (AP) - A court diversion program for some drug offenders in Vermont's largest county is going to be part of a national study to see how effective it is.

Chittenden County's Rapid Intervention Community Court will be part of the second phase of a research project, funded by the Department of Justice, and other groups.

The Chittenden County program will be one of three sites in the country participating in the second phase of the study.

The study is designed to look at the effectiveness of the program, which offers alternatives to some people charged with crimes such as theft, drug possession or writing bad checks.

Jurisdictions around the country are turning to diversion programs in many drug-related cases as alternatives to traditional prosecution.