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Police participation in structured plea negotiations

Authors
Journal
Journal of Criminal Justice
0047-2352
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
9
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0047-2352(81)90019-2
Disciplines
  • Law

Abstract

Abstract This article examines the participation of police officers in structured felony plea negotiations. The data were collected during the testing of pretrial settlement conferences conducted in Dade County, Florida. The police officers were relatively active in the plea discussions, and their presence affected both the structure of the discussion and the relative influence of the various parties. The data also indicate that police participation and influence were affected by the presence of either the victim or the defendant. While the presence of the police did not affect the processing (settlement/trial rate) or the disposition (sentence severity, use of incarceration or restitution), the officers who attended the conference were more satisfied with both the court process and the disposition. This finding is significant in the light of the demoralizing effects of traditional plea negotiations on police attitudes and the spill over of these negative attitudes into the criminal justice system.

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