High School / Young Adult Negotiation Role-Play: Probation Games

TitleHigh School / Young Adult Negotiation Role-Play: Probation Games
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsSusskind, L, Podziba, S
Keywordsagency, agreement, agreements, consensus, contingent agreement, interests, mutual gain, negotiation, negotiations, negotiator, negotiators, Probation Games, relationship, trust

A set of three simulations developed for and used in training court probation officers in negotiation techniques.

Full Text

SCENARIO for game #1, “School:”

Tom Johnson is a fourteen year old sophomore at Central High School in an older metropolitan suburb. He lives with his mother and two younger sisters. His parents were divorced four years ago, and now his father lives in a neighboring state. Although Tom maintains average grades, he is disruptive in class, and has a truancy problem. He already has twenty unexcused absences this year, and it is only mid way through the second quarter. He also had a truancy problem last year.

About a month ago, a school security guard caught Tom and two of his friends breaking school windows at night. Although Tom says he was not actually involved in destroying the school property, the school principal has decided to schedule a meeting to discuss Tom’s problems. The meeting will be attended by the school principal, Mrs. Johnson, Tom, and a member of the probation department. The principal invited someone from the probation department to the meeting to inform Tom of the actions the court will be forced to take if his current behavior does not improve.

SCENARIO for game #2, “Agency:”

Al Logan is twenty-five years old and single. He was convinced of larceny for the second time in four years, and received a two year suspended sentence with two years probation. He was also ordered to enter an eighteen-month drug rehabilitation program.

Al has failed to complete drug rehabilitation programs in the past. One of his former rehabilitation counselors had believed that Al might have psychological problems to resolve before he could successfully address his drug problems. This counselor had suggested that Al enter a mental health facility, but Al did not want to commit himself to a “crazy house.”

Al will meet with his probation officer and representatives of the Light House Rehabilitation Center and Clark Mental Health Hospital. Together, they will try to determine the optimal program to help Al.

SCENARIO for game #3, “Family:”

Angela Clark is 28 years old, single, and has two children aged two and four. She has moved twice in the last six months, most recently from a rooming house from which she was evicted. She was recently convicted of forgery, her third conviction in as many years, and sentenced to two years in prison. She has already served sixty days, and will be allowed to serve the remainder of her sentence on probation. In addition to her prison sentence, the court has ordered her to pay $1000 in restitution. Her father, a wealthy man, finds his daughter’s behavior appalling. It was he who notified the Department of Social Services (DSS) of Angela’s neglect of her children. He assumed that he and his wife would be given custody, but instead the children were placed under foster care.

Angela wants her children back. In order to regain custody, she must prove that the care and protection issues cited in “neglect” conviction have been addressed, pay the $1000 restitution fee, find gainful employment, and arrange for day care. To do this she needs her father’s help and the aid of her sister. In the upcoming probation meeting, Angela, her father, her probation officer, and a DSS social worker will attempt to resolve this situation