Part of Lesson Plan: The Pre-Sentence Report: How are people granted or denied probation?
Activity Overview / Details
After assessing students' understanding, advise them they will now play the role of a Deputy Probation Officer and will be in charge of completing their own Pre-Sentence Report. Each student will receive a blank copy of the PSR template and the handout "You be the Probation Officer", which includes a total of 5 fictional cases, one of which they will select to create their PSR. Distribute both handouts and either allow students to select a case of their choice, or assign one to them. Allow students to work on their reports and stop 3-4 minutes before class ends.
Monitor students' understanding by reviewing the fictional cases with them. Let students know they will need to use their imagination and creativity, as they will have to fill in the missing gaps when completing their PSRs (for example, the information on the defendant's parents information, the defendant's height, eye color, hair color, and Statement of the victim- if there was a victim in the case). Advise students there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to providing this information, and encourage them to be creative and present an interesting, detailed, and well written report.