$0.00 – $6.00
Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, multi-issue negotiation among prison administrators, government leaders, criminal justice advocates, and prisoners' rights advocates to develop recommendations for a comprehensive state policy to alleviate prison overcrowding
The state of New Crimea has an average daily prison population of 13,000, with the prison system currently operating at a 122% capacity. A federal judge recently ruled that such conditions violate inmates' constitutional rights, and ordered a 13% reduction of the inmate population within six months. Following this ruling, the governor of New Crimea organized a Prison Overcrowding Policy Commission, whose responsibility it is to develop policy recommendations that will alleviate the system-wide overcrowding. The legislature will then consider the Commission's proposals. Should the Commission fail to reach an agreement, the Department of Corrections will be forced to begin releasing inmates.
- BATNA: This exercise requires participants to identify an focus on their Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). By clarifying their aspirations and BATNA, the players give themselves a range within which to evaluate options or packages that develop during the bargaining process.
- Interests vs. Positions: Players should uncover the interests behind the Commission members' positions. This will enable the Commission to seek out new options in order to maximize joint gains, thus increasing its chances of reaching an effective, mutually acceptable agreement. This case introduces a potential "hard bargaining" situation. Loss of pride may prevent a player from agreeing to a different, but equally acceptable option.
- Alliances: In this exercise, players should learn to maximize their bargaining power by forming political alliances. Coalition-building allows those without a strong power base to promote their most important interests as well as to create innovative options that satisfy multiple party interests.
Estimated Time Requirements:
Read instructions: 30 minutes
Players in the same roles discuss strategy: 15 minutes
Negotiations: 90 minutes
Debriefing: 45 minutes
Total: 3 hours
For all parties:
- General Background
- Editorial from The New Crimea Times
Confidential instructions for:
- The Corrections Commissioner
- The Governor's Advisor
- The Judge
- The Parole Board Chairperson
- The Prisoners' Advocate
- The State Legislator
- The Victim's Advocate
Teacher's package (47 pages total):
- All of the above
- Extensive teaching notes for debriefing
Agenda control; Coalitions; Consensus building; Constituents; Correctional policy negotiations; Interest analysis; Political constraints; Prison overcrowding; Dealing with public opinion; State policy negotiations
New Crimea Prison Overcrowding Simulation Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||8|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|