Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies



TITLE:  Shoplifting Simulation

AUTHOR:  Terry Fuss, NM

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT:  7-12, law

OVERVIEW:  A simulation for a law class to demonstrate the
procedures involved in the prosecution of a crime and to
illustrate the difference in the prosecution process between
juveniles and adults.

PURPOSE:  To further student's knowledge concerning juvenile
justice, and to make them aware of the seriousness of the
crime of shoplifting.  To increase general awareness of the
legal system.

OBJECTIVES:  Students will be able to:
  1.  Distinguish between grand and petty larceny
  2.  Become more aware of the individual rights of minors
  3.  Understand the procedures of a closed juvenile hearing
  4.  Realize the severity of the crime of shoplifting

RESOURCES/MATERIALS:  Resource people:  Cooperation of the
Kay County District Judge, the District Attorney, the Ponca
City Police Department, and the Manager of the J.C. Penny's
Store was obtained prior to the execution of the project.
Technical resource people:  Refer to Tying It All Together.

ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:  The scenario starts with two
students, one 16 (a minor-juvenile) and one 18 years old.
     The students entered the store and were approached by
the sales clerk for assistance.  The clerk was then called
away from the immediate area and the students proceeded to
shoplift watches.  One watch was worth $34.95 and one was
worth $59.95.  A silent alarm was set off by the clerk which
automatically alerted the local police department and the
management of the store.
     The students left the store and were immediately
apprehended outside the store by the management and held
until the police arrived.  The manager proceeded to follow
the store's policy for shoplifters.  Then the 18 year old
was handcuffed and put into the patrol car.  The juvenile
was placed in the back seat of the car and then they were
both take to the police station.  The 18 year old was booked
and finger printed and placed in a holding cell.  The
juvenile's parents were called while he waited in a juvenile
section of the facility.
     Prior to the day of the crime, the district attorney's
office drew up the proper papers and were ready for the next
step.  The students were transported to the district court
where we first went through the juvenile hearing with the
minor student, his parents, and the district attorney and
the judge.  He was formally charge with petty larceny.  He
was released in his parent's custody.  He was placed on
probation and was assigned 100 hours of community service.
     The young lady was 18, therefore, she was adjudicated
as an adult and charged with grand larceny.  She was given
six months in the county jail and a $5,000 fine.  The
district attorney explained he had applied the "grass roots
theory."  She was an adult, she did not own property in Kay
County, and she only had a part time job.  She could
possibly leave the county and not return.

TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:  It was very important to protect the
students reputations by starting the project before the
store opened.  The local newspaper gave us wonderful full
page write-ups with a lot of pictures so that the local
community was fully aware of what the project goals were.
We also had the full cooperation and permission of the
parents before we started.

  The news articles were shared with Arizona and California
schools and later used in their respective high schools.
The whole project was video taped to be used in my
classroom, at the local elementary and junior high schools
and by the local police department.

  The students involved were very receptive to the project
but it affected their lives in ways they never realized.
The message was invaluable to everyone involved.  What
seemed a simple, exciting project, became a very serious
venture.


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