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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76220 Find in a Library
Title: Plea Bargaining - A Game of Criminal Justice
Author(s): E Katsh; R M Pipkin; B S Katsh
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 233
Sponsoring Agency: Legal Studies Simulations
Springfield, MA 01108
Sale Source: Legal Studies Simulations
42 Elwood Drive
Springfield, MA 01108
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Designed for use at the college level, this game is a role playing simulation of the plea bargaining process. It encourages students to actively study the reasons for plea bargaining, examine alternatives to it, and learn how the system works.
Abstract: Plea bargaining represents a deal made among the accused, the lawyer, the prosecutor, and usually the judge. It is the criminal justice system's central method of processing persons accused of crime. However, few law students are familiar with the process. Thus, this game serves to fill the knowledge gap. Participants take the roles of the district attorney, judge, public defender, and accused. Each player is given a statement describing that player's particular role and the rules for the game. The actual guilt or innocence of the accused is known by no one except the accused and is not revealed to the other players until the end of the game. The sentences resulting from the plea bargaining process are eventually revealed, along with the actual innocence or guilt of the accused, and a debriefing discussion is held after the game is over. During the discussion, players can use 'real' examples of the effects of plea bargaining in the United States. If the players choose, the game can then be replayed with changes suggested during the discussion to see if hypothetical alteration of the system could produce the desired corrections. The game can be played in one 4-hour session (includes debriefing and discussion) or in four 50-minute sessions. The game will accommodate 11 to 35 players. Case notes, criminal codes, case reports, and a director's manual are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Course materials; Plea negotiations; Simulation
Note: This is a game kit containing case reports, director's manual, judge's instructions, and assorted flyers
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