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IEEE Computer Volume 11 Number 4 -- NEW APPLICATIONS Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131299D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 21K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Prof. D. A Michalopoulos: AUTHOR [+2]


NEW APPLICATIONS * Computer simulation analyzes criminal justice system * Computer data base cuts university red tape * Computer graphics system aids agricultural cooperative * Illinois newspaper computerizes news copy editing and classified ads * Computer service helps dairies increase productivity

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.


edited by

Prof. D. A Michalopoulos

California State University, Fullerton

Computer simulation analyzes criminal justice system

University of Utah students in criminology and "Law and Society" classes are using a computer- automated game to simulate decision analysis of the criminal justice system. In the game, called Crimesim, the computer represents all dimensions of political, social, and economic analysis. The player's decisions create effects which constantly change the environment, and he must continually weigh both current and anticipated results.

A hypothetical Crimesim situation might be as follows:

It's 1980. The economy is sliding toward recession. Unemployment is up. government spending down, crime soaring. The public demands law and order, stricter enforcement, harsher penalties.

There is discontent with archaic judicial procedures, overcrowded courts, and an ineffective penal system. But there is also a growing understanding that crime is linked to economic and social factors.

As a decision-maker, you must effect changes which will make the criminal justice system responsive to present conditions and attitudes. You are expected to get the most results for the least cost.

The game consists of five five-year planning sessions based on the interplay of the player, 60 optional criminal justice programs, political interests, and societal and institutional effects.

The computer gives students a budget, apprises them of general social trends, and informs them of their options. A summary of current programs, their funding levels, and significant local developments which may have a bearing on either costs or programs is also available.

At the end of each session, the computer shows how well the player has achieved the goals, the costs, and the impact on attitudes and related programs.

The simulation has a three-fold purpose, according to the two faculty members, Gerald W. Smith and Jerry D. Debenham, who devised Crimesim. First. it helDs people think of the criminal justice system as an overall system, rather than simply divisions of police, courts, and corrections. As a decision assistance tool, it allows comparing strategies, costs, and other variables. The program may also be used as a research device. It forces the question: What are the consequences of change? To find the answer, the participant usually must seek more information and this search often reveals where there is a lack of data. So. in effect. the program directs the research effort.

IEEE Computer Society, Apr 01, 1978 Page 1 ...