The research reported here was conducted during the winter of 1970-71 in Connecticut and involved seventy two interviews with men charged with felonies. Forty nine of the respondents were inmates in the state prison or in a reformatory for youthful offenders; the remaining twenty-three were not incarcerated, but were on probation or had received dismissals or acquittals. Approximately two-thirds of the men had been represented by Public Defenders; the remainder had been represented either by private attorneys or by a legal services organization in one Connecticut city. The material presented here is excerpted from lengthy interviews with these men (averaging about two hours) which explored their attitudes toward the criminal law and the institutions of criminal justice, with special attention to the plea-bargaining process.

The Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration and the Social Science Research Council provided financial support for this study. Neither is in any way responsible for nor endorses the arguments advanced here.

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