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Example: Future Scene – Criminal Justice Systems

Set in 2039, the mayor, police, and local activists are preparing for a Virtual Reality Town Hall to discuss a Safe Street Initiative in need of community involvement. The different interests of the community members and the technology available to the local police for combating crime are creating tension in the fictional community of Georgetown.

Additional Information
Competition Season: 2018 International Conference
Division: Junior
Context: In competition, students see the future scene for the first time right as they begin their timed writing submission. They must consider the parameters (time, topic, and place) of the future scene when working through the problem-solving process.
Topic: Criminal Justice Systems
Time: 2039 and beyond
Place: Georgetown
Original Formatting: See the future scene with its original formatting in an attached PDF below.

Criminal Justice Systems Future Scene

The Safe Street Initiative (SSI)
Community—Police—Government working together
Police Chief shares a new community vision
Georgetown’s Mayor pledges support
Virtual Reality (VR) Town Hall from 5-7pm TONIGHT, Monday, May 1, 2039    
Register to join the VR Town Hall

2:45 pm Georgetown City Hall

Getting ready for tonight’s VR Town Hall, Mayor Samantha Myers reviews the agenda. The meeting is about the plans and technologies of the Safe Street Initiative, which she believes will reduce crime. She would like to get the community involved in public safety before crimes happen. Mayor Myers sorts her research and talking points to stress the need for the SSI.

Organizing her notes, she thinks back to a crime last year that occurred in front of onlookers without anyone helping. She does not want anything like that to happen again. She knows that she must be careful not to let her own feelings sway her view, because she must listen to all the concerns of Georgetown residents fairly.

In 2032 Georgetown tried a different criminal justice strategy. The Justice Initiative did not work. Legal authorities thought that allowing trained citizens to help judges decide the type and length of punishments for local crimes would reduce crime. Unfortunately, crime, incarcerations, and sentence length all increased. Positive community involvement is the next step for the criminal justice system of Georgetown.


3:00 pm Justice Reform Network Headquarters (JRNH)

Merritt Sams, Georgetown’s leading advocate for JRNH, posts her message. With a nod, she notifies everyone who has signed up or visited the Justice Reform sites this year. They will see the JRNH message on their phones, in their cars, on displays all over their homes, and at their workplaces:

“The best way to stop crime is through friendship, not fear! Tell Mayor Myers and Police Chief Finch that you don’t want fancy new gadgets. You don’t want neighbors spying on each other. Tell them you want better food programs, so no one needs to steal to eat; anger management programs, so people don’t get into fights; better job opportunities, so people can get jobs rather than turning to crime.

“Resist! Refuse! Rely on the people! Let your voices be heard! Tell politicians to listen to the people, not the weapons manufacturers. We are tired of their devices of control. Tell the police to protect us. The solution is not technology to invade our privacy. Join us at the VR Town Hall to say NO to the SSI!”


3:15 pm Georgetown Police Station

Security Technology Depot offers many of the latest technologies designed for the criminal justice system. Police Chief Javier Finch makes notes of items he would like to order for his officers. Can Chief Finch convince Georgetown’s residents that the SSI will protect them and his officers? Can he put the community in policing?

Future Scene  information

Chief Finch knows the success of the Safe Street Initiative relies on his ability to convince the community of its need for the SSI at tonight’s VR Town Hall. Community policing needs the community. Without the support and involvement of the townspeople, it will fail. The police officers are eager to improve their relationship with the residents of Georgetown. They are also excited about the new equipment the larger extra budget from SSI would provide. The SSI will give his police force an upper hand against crime. He jots down his wish list: interactive surveillance, AI robotic K9s, and responsive mapping.


Georgetown’s political, law enforcement, and social activist leaders struggle to find solutions to make their community safe. Help them by identifying possible challenges presented by the Safe Street Initiative in Georgetown. Develop an Action Plan that will meet the needs of the residents of Georgetown in 2039 and beyond.

Disclaimer: Future scene may have been adjusted by Future Problem Solving for format, clarity and content. 

Attachment – Competition PDF (Junior)

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April Michele

April Michele Bio

Executive Director

A seasoned educator, April Michele has served as the Executive Director since 2018 and been with Future Problem Solving more than a decade. Her background in advanced curriculum strategies and highly engaging learning techniques translates well in the development of materials, publications, training, and marketing for the organization and its global network. April’s expertise includes pedagogy and strategies for critical and creative thinking and providing quality educational services for students and adults worldwide.

Prior to joining Future Problem Solving, April taught elementary and middle grades, spending most of her classroom career in Gifted Education. She earned the National Board Certification (NBPTS) as a Middle Childhood/Generalist and later served as a National Board Assessor for the certification of others. She was trained and applied the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) in Humanities, which helped widen the educational scope and boundaries beyond the U.S. In addition, April facilitated the Theory and Development of Creativity course for state level certification of teachers. She has also collaborated on a variety of special projects through the Department of Education.

A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and the University of South Florida with a master’s in Gifted Education, April’s passion is providing a challenging curriculum for 21st century students so they are equipped with the problem solving and ethical leadership skills they need to thrive in the future. As a board member in her local Rotary Club, she facilitates problem solving in leadership at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute and earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Edyth Bush Institute at Rollins College.