You have just completed the social control simulation, in which you discovered plea bargaining as a form of external social control. You experienced how it disproportionately impacts minority and low-income individuals. The types of decisions you made are typical of those facing possible jail time and the effects of a criminal record. Answer the following questions regarding your experience with the simulation.
1. Which decision do you believe had the biggest impact on the outcome of your case? What factors did you consider when making your choice?
2. According to the Bureau of Justice Assistance, 90 – 95% of criminal cases are resolved via plea bargain. Those statistics also show that racial minorities are less likely than whites to receive reduced plea sentencing. What are the consequences of plea bargaining for racial minorities? Explain your rationale.
3. Imagine that you are an attorney whose client has been charged with a crime for which they may take a plea bargain. How do you advise your client? What factors must you and your client consider when deciding whether to accept the plea bargain?
Rabuy, Bernadette, and Daniel Kopf. 2016. Detaining the Poor: How Money Bail Perpetuates an Endless Cycle of Poverty and Jail Time. Northampton, MA: Prison Policy Initiative. Retrieved April 18, 2017 (https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/incomejails.html).
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