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.
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy
Click here to return to OFCN's Main Menu