Diversion and Discrimination
The New York Times is publishing a series that examines the use of diversion programs, which are designed to allow people to avoid the harsh consequences of the criminal justice system for first-time and minor offenses. However, since these programs are run by local prosecutors, there is unequal treatment. Often, this leads to a substantially different treatment of poorer people.
"After a Crime, the Price of a Second Chance"
In the second part of the series, the paper takes a closer look at one county in Alabama and demonstrates the ways that unequal treatment by the prosecutor has affected several citizens.
"Alabama Prosecutor Sets the Penalties and Fills the Coffers"
There is also a very helpful interactive feature that allows readers to examine the difficult choices that one may potentially face when choosing diversion.
"The Prosecutor's Deal, the Defendant's Dilemma"