Resources For Teachers

Unit 2: Prisoners’ Rights Mock Trial



This unit asks students to consider civil rights inside the prison as they conduct a mock trial. By participating in a mock trial, students will not only learn about the litigation process, but will also learn about how democratic values and principles can be applied to specific situations, why people disagree on when and how they should be applied, and how the courts are important in providing a forum for contestation and resolution of such disputes and in ensuring that our commonly held values and principles are protected.

Unit Questions

  • What are the major issues related to prisoners’ rights in the United States, including disagreements regarding prisoners’ rights?
  • To what extent, if any, should the government be allowed to limit certain rights for prisoners?

Unit Materials

Teacher Overview

Video introduction to Mock Trials

Lesson 1: What is this case about?

Lesson 2: Understanding the Evidence

Lesson 3: Developing an Outline for the Case

Lesson 4: Preparing for Trial

Lesson 5: The Trial

Lesson 6: Debrief and Reflection