The Willingness to Pay for Pretrial Diversion

Wednesday December 14, 2016

The New York Times has a magnificent story on the inequities of the pretrial diversion systems in use around the country. Can we use this to estimate a defendant’s willingness to pay for pretrial diversion, subject to the constraints of the budget curve? Use this quote from the article:

It is impossible to determine how many defendants are barred from diversion for lack of money, but one jurisdiction offers a hint. The diversion program in New Orleans once cost as much as $1,200 and had about 300 participants. In 2009, when a new district attorney lowered the cost to $200, participation more than tripled.

Please justify your answer.

Image by Eric Chan / Flickr.