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Plea Bargaining Institute Engages in Outreach and Education

Article by Plea Bargaining Institute
Thu 11 Jan 2024
Tucson, Arizona

Pursuant to the PBI mission to create opportunities for dialogue and collaboration, the institute convenes and participates in various events throughout the year. The focus of these events and the target audiences for these offerings vary, but each is designed to further the institute’s mission of sharing knowledge and creating opportunities for collaboration. Recently, the PBI was invited to particulate in two events that enabled the institute to engage in important outreach and education regarding plea bargaining practices, research, and reform.

In November 2023, PBI Founding Director Lucian Dervan was invited by the U.S. State Department to present a lecture on plea bargaining at a conference in Montenegro. The event focused on developing best practices for plea bargaining in the country and included judges and prosecutors. Professor Dervan’s lecture focused on the history of plea bargaining, research regarding the plea bargaining system in the United States, and information regarding best practices for plea bargaining going forward.

In December 2023, Professor Dervan was invited to speak at the Fair and Just Prosecution Annual Convening in Tucson, Arizona. During his remarks to prosecutors at this conference, he once again focused on sharing information about research on plea bargaining practices, including the phenomenon of false pleas of guilty by the innocent, and introduced the audience to recommendations recently adopted by the American Bar Association to create a fairer, more transparent, and more just system of pleas.

“These were wonderful opportunities for the institute to begin its outreach work,” said Professor Dervan. “The PBI strives to find ways to bring academic research and findings about plea bargaining and plea practices to practitioners and policymakers. Presenting to judges, prosecutors, and defenders is a key aspect of this work and helps ensure that the knowledge we are developing in the academy is able to have a meaningful impact in the field. I look forward to the institute expanding its outreach and education work as we continue forward.”