Assignment 1: Ethics and Professional Code of Conduct
1) Three (3) reasons ethics and integrity are important for a police chief or county sheriff.
Ethics and integrity are important to a police chief or county sheriff in a number of ways. First, ethics and integrity assist a police chief or a county sheriff to recruit the best officers who can work in their departments. It is only through application of the principles of ethics and integrity that a police chief or a county sheriff can identify these qualities in the potential applicants, and use them in the recruitment process. Second, ethics and integrity are important to a police chief or a county sheriff because these qualities help them to set the professional standards under which the recruited officers should work. Being the highest ranking officers in the department, a police chief or a county sheriff has all the responsibilities to define working standards for all other officers serving in their departments.
According to DeShon (2000), subordinate officers can only demonstrate ethics and integrity in their profession if their seniors have ethics and integrity. Third, ethics and integrity are important to a police chief or a county sheriff because their moves are monitored by members of the community who pay much attention to ethics and integrity. Through demonstration of ethics and integrity, a police chief or a county sheriff gains much respect from members of the community. The degree of respect will define the ease with which these officers get their job done while dealing community members (DeShon, 2000).
- How ethics, morality, and law are different, highlighting the primary focus of law enforcement officers
The modern society demands a lot from a police chief or a county sheriff. Considering the bad reputation that most officers have displayed, the society is now highly critical on law enforcement with much power and responsibility being given to the police chief or a county sheriff. As such, the society expects these officers to express higher levels of morality, ethical standards and professional conduct. Ethics is defined as philosophical reflection on moral practices and beliefs (Boldizar and Korhonen, 1999).
In other words, ethics refer to conducts and principles that govern a group or an individual. Ethics are very important to law enforcement officers, especially a police chief or a county sheriff. Members of the general public believe that there are specific principles that govern the conduct of a police chief or a law enforcement officer. The police chief or county sheriff must either adhere to these principles or be considered as corrupt officers by the society (Boldizar and Korhonen, 1999).
Morality is defined as an individual’s or group’s belief about what is right or wrong, and it mainly serves to define human decency. Law enforcement officers are expected to exercise morality in their course of duty by observing the laws that defend basic values such as murder, rape, bribery and many others. The society expects a police chief or a county sheriff to demonstrate morality before trying to enforce the same to the community. Law is a term used to refer to rules made by human beings to regulate human interactions and guide the society. These rules are normally enforceable to promote peace in the community. The primary focus of law enforcement officers is that law has the power to state what over offenses count as wrong and therefore punishable. Laws therefore partially govern a person’s ethical and moral behaviors through fear of punishment (Boldizar and Korhonen, 1999).
- Two (2) ways a police chief or county sheriff should use ethics and the code of conduct in decision making
During decision making, police chiefs or county sheriffs should largely use ethics and the code of conduct in decision making. This is because they have legal obligations in today’s democratic society to demonstrate good citizenship by obeying just laws, showing respect to the authority, meeting civic responsibilities and protecting the environment which is the society (Boldizar and Korhonen, 1999). Good citizenship has a special meaning to a police chief or a county sheriff because the officer has a special duty to obey the utmost spirit of the law, including the ethics and code of conduct.
In addition, the police chief or a county sheriff is obliged to protect members of the society by showing total obedience to the law during decision making (DeShon, 2000). One way through which a police chief or county sheriff should use ethics and the code of conduct in decision making is to strive and stay within the scope of their lawful authority and limits on their power when making judgments that may deprive individuals of liberty. Another way through which a police chief or county sheriff should use ethics and the code of conduct in decision making is by considering the interests if citizens while making rulings that might result into conflict of interest (DeShon, 2000).
Assignment 2: Incorporating Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development into the Justice System
- Define the concept of justice
Justice has several definitions. Justice can be defined as a desert, that is, the idea of getting what one deserves. This can be both on the positive and on the negative side. On the positive side, one can be rewarded for a good deed, while on the negative side, one might be punished or exposed to a bad consequence for an immoral action. Justice can also be defined as a form of fairness with an idea of treating equals equally. This may refer to offering equal pay to people with similar job qualifications, treating people unequally in order to correct past injustices or ensuring the all parties receive fair hearing and due process in courts. Justice can also be seen as a concept of equality. This idea refers to offering equal citizenship rights for all persons such as paying taxes and getting access to education (Hurlbert and Mulvale, 2009).
- How the concept of justice relates to the field of criminal justice, emphasizing how it should be applied by law enforcement officers
Prosecutors handling criminal cases must apply the concept of justice in order to enforce the required law. They may decide to use one or several witnesses to prove their case. The testimony provided by these witnesses should be used by the law enforcement officers to exercise desert, fairness and equality. At all times, the law enforcement officers must not underestimate his or her role in establishing a defendant’s guilt based on the available evidence. The officer can only label the defendant as “not guilty if important pieces of evidence are absent (NHTSA, 2007).
I the field of criminal justice, the law enforcement officer must ensure that every guilty criminal if offered the degree of punishment that equals to the degree of offence committed. Inflicting a harsh feeling into the criminal can help prevent future crimes. In addition, the law enforcement officer must ensure that all parties in a case are offered equal hearing as stated by the law. The concept of justice also relates to the field of criminal justice in the sense that, all law enforcement officers are expected to demonstrate equality, both economic and social equality, to citizens. In this respect, all those who deny their fellows the right to social equality other economic rights should be punished accordingly (NHTSA, 2007).
- Three (3) ways Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development can be applied to the evaluation of three (3) types of criminals who are at different stages of moral development
Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development can be applied to the evaluation of criminals who are at different stages of moral development. According to Kohlberg (Kohlberg, 1971), criminals at pre-conventional level are mainly children who do not have comprehensive understanding of the law. Children under this stage of moral development is still responsive to cultural rules of right or wrong, but are able to interpret actions in terms of consequences such as reward or punishment or the physical power of those enunciate the rules. While evaluating the child criminal under this stage of moral development, the law enforcement officer must understand that the criminal understands the physical consequences of his or her actions based on their goodness or badness.
Kohlberg (1971) also recognizes that there are other criminals who belong to conventional stage of moral development. Adolescent are considered to be in this stage of moral development. Here, the youth perceives the maintenance of the family’s, group’s or nation’s expectations irrespective of the immediate consequences that may arise. The nature of attitude developed is that of conformity to personal expectation, social order, and of loyalty demonstration. Law enforcement officers evaluating adolescent criminals at the conventional stage of moral development must bear in mind that such criminals are oriented towards demonstration of right behavior by maintain social order and fixed national rules.
The third stage of moral development as described by Kohlberg (1971) is that of post-conventional or principled level stage. This stage mainly refers to adults who have the capability of defining moral principles and values based on their validity but not as they are stated by the authority holding them. The law enforcement officers evaluating adult criminals under the principled stage of development must consider the general individual rights and standards because these criminals are vividly aware of what is democratically and constitutionally agreed (Kohlberg, 1971).
- Three (3) effective and ethical methods of deterrence for the selected criminals.
The child, adolescent and adult criminal under pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional stages of moral development respectively require different methods of deterrence to prevent them from engaging in criminal activities. The best method of deterrence for a child criminal under pre-conventional stage of moral development is thorough beating to enable the child to link the crime with the consequence. The best method of deterrence for a youth criminal under conventional stage of moral development is punishment in public to ensure that other youths learn the consequences of breaking the rule. Consequently, the best method of deterrence for an adult criminal at post-conventional stage of moral development is imposing a fine that is equal to the degree of crime committed (Carlsmith and Darley, 2002).
Assignment 3: Philosophical and Practical Approach for Balancing Issues
- Explain your philosophy and approach for balancing these two (2) issues: individual rights and the public’s protection.
The society looks at justice as form of fairness that needs to be extended to criminals. Total inequality is evident in matters of human rights especially when referring to personal human traits such as ethnicity and gender. In criminal justice, there is a great concern over such types of human rights and total protection must come from the government or from the public. Even though these are the documented human rights, there are extreme situations when they might not apply. For instance, it is required by law that the human right to life in a country is protected by extreme means (Clarke and Cornish, 1983).
However, it might reach a point when this protection is not achievable like in the current incidences of terror attack. This calls for need of creating a balance between individual rights and public rights. For example, the establishment of equal but distinctive laws in 1896 in the United States that seeked to protect the African-Americans against discrimination by the Whites as far as access to public facilities was concerned. It may come a time when balancing rules are created in the society to protect every individual human right as it is an essential responsibility of the public (Clarke and Cornish, 1983).
- Explain your philosophy and approach for balancing of these two (2) issues: use of reward and punishment in criminal justice.
Members of the society today are well conversant with laws and regulations that govern behaviors of individual, thereby encouraging peaceful interraction in the society. To ensure law and order, the society has developed methods of punishment to those who attempt to violate these laws and regulations. However, it is quite unfortunate that no systems exist for rewarding those who observe these laws to the latter and uphold peaceful interraction in the society. In societies where there are no identified forms of reward, it is presumed that the lack of punishment is in itself a reward to those who fail to violate the set laws and regulations (Clarke and Cornish, 1983). The modern societies are now trying to come up with systems of reward, and individuals who enter into a system of criminal justice are less likely to get the rewards as opposed to those who maintain strict observance of the law.
The wrong doers are subjected to punishment to help prevent them from repeating the crimes. In this context, both punishment and rewards are done to promote behavior change. However, repeated punishments and rewards do not result into any significant behavior change. A balance is therefore created by subjecting criminals to severe punishments that are different from the ones that had previously applied, and rewards are offered at minimal rates to encourage others to develop positive behaviors and avoid breaking the law (Moore, 1984).
- Explain your philosophy and approach for balancing the use of immoral means (e.g., lying in interrogation) to accomplish desirable ends.
Many criminals have escaped charges by lying in court in order for them to be freed. Sometimes, making a false statement deliberately in order to deceive the other party has sounded as perfect responses (Moore, 1984). For instance, a son can lie to the court during an interrogation that the watchman was responsible for his mother’s death, at a time when he was personally responsible. One who does the right thing in a difficult situation should be offered the justice in court, but it is quite unfortunate that some forms of immoral means are never easily identifiable.
Philosophers such as Immanuel Kant were against the idea of engaging in immoral means such as lying to accomplish desirable ends. Kant said that human beings have their own dignity and they can make their own decisions that guide their conduct. They therefore have the rational power to make choices that affect others and oneself (Von, 1976). Since it is at times difficult to tell whether one is taking an immoral means to accomplish desirable end, a form of balance is enhanced by creation of laws that seek to extend punishments to those who have been identified to perform immoral means to accomplish desired ends, even several years after the actual ruling had occurred.
- Recommend at least three (3) ways to use ethics in decision making about these issues in criminal justice.
The philosophy for practical and approach for balancing of the above described issues is very important in criminal justice. The law enforcement officer must use ethics in decision making about all these issues. One way through which this can be done is by ensuring that the nature of judgement made critically takes care of the existing situation and does not violate individual rights, while at the same time protecting the general public.
In addition, the law enforcement officer can use ethics in decision making by ensuring that any two parties involved in case obtain either a reward or punishment, depending on the prevailing condition. Lastly, law enforcement officer must rule out any signs of immoral means to accomplish desirable ends in a case before making the final decision. This is because it is ethically wrong to make the final judgement based on the presented issues at a time when consideration of truth would have resulted into reversal of the ruling (Von, 1976).
Assignment 4: Leadership Approach
- Three (3) primary challenges facing a police chief in a large city or county sheriff
Effective police leaders and county sheriffs must always learn to adapt and respond to challenges that they encounter in the course of work. They must be able to balance between predictability and constancy for them to effectively deal with these challenges. Three main challenges facing a police chief or a county sheriff in a large city include; inadequate funding, rapid technological change, and inadequate professionally qualified staff who can work as subordinates. A large city requires development of large police offices and other facilities that cater for the requirements of the whole population. However, a police chief or a county sheriff finds it difficult to provide the required facility due to inadequate funds. A police officer or a county sheriff is also faced with the challenge of rapid technological development (Batt, Michael and Scrivner, 2012).
Modern police leadership largely emphasizes on the use of technology. A police chief or a county sheriff recognizes the importance of balancing complex demands and they must keep pace with the generated data through integration of new technology. This is a challenge to these leaders because they are compelled to look for funds and man power to initiate the changes. The third challenge to a police chief or a county sheriff is inadequate number of qualified staff that can be employed in the various departments. The number of graduates from training institutions is always exceeded by the existing demands (Batt, Michael and Scrivner, 2012).
- Describe three (3) key skills required of a police chief in a large city or county sheriff, explaining why they are important.
As cities continue to expand, modern law enforcement leaders need to possess specific skills for them to be able to exercise full professional requirements in the cities. A police chief or a county sheriff must be capable of managing the above described challenges. The three skills that are required of a police chief or a county sheriff in a large city include strong oral and communication skills, ability to master technological trends and global comprehension skills. Since large cities consists of different types of individuals, a police chief or a county sheriff must possess strong oral and communication skills in order to explain complex theories in simple terms. They must persuade their clients and be able to respond effectively to questions directed to the authority. As earlier mentioned, a large city is one place where there is rapid technological advancement (Batt, Michael and Scrivner, 2012).
A police chief or a county sheriff must be able to anticipate how the changes will intersect with the constitutional laws that they prepare. Due to the rapid increase in the amount of data, a police chief or a county sheriff must possess skills that will ensure that appropriate technology is incorporated into the system and that matches with the outlines strategies. It is high time police chiefs and county sheriffs get prepared to effectively respond to the concerns of the residents of large cities. A police chief of a county sheriff must also possess global perspective skills. In large cities, financial institutions and other big organizations face terrorist threats that are constructed on a global landscape. A police chief or a county sheriff must have greater knowledge and awareness of global history and connectivity to international issues, and their impact on crime (Batt, Michael and Scrivner, 2012).
- Explain how ethics, virtue, and character should be reflected in a police chief in a large city or a county sheriff in a large, diverse county.
All police chiefs and county sheriffs must be adequately trained to observe ethic, virtues and positive character in their daily operations. Ethics involves critical examination of what constitutes right or wrong and bad and good behavior. Character defines a person’s behaviors while virtue refers to these behaviors guided by some moral standards. Ethics is reflected in a police chief or a county sheriff based on what he or she can or cannot do (Kopko, 2011).
In other words, it is seen in what a police chief or a county sheriff should or should not do according to the Professional Code of Conduct. Character is reflected in a police chief or a county sheriff when he or she is able to apply the ethical concepts correctly. A virtuous police chief or county sheriff moves beyond moral behavior and this is reflected when he or she does what is right and at the same time set a standard of behavior to which everyone else can strive (Kopko, 2011).
- Predict what role ethical decision making will have in the future (next 20 years) of the criminal justice profession and recommend two (2) ways to use ethics to improve decision making.
Ethical issues in criminal justice have been a problem in the law enforcement in the recent past. Over the next 20 years, it is anticipated that law enforcement officers will be faced with ethical dilemmas that will require them to make ethical decisions that are aligned with their profession. In the decision making during situations of ethical dilemma, a police chief or a county sheriff will be required to make ethical decisions while exercising justice. There are two ways that the law enforcement officers can use ethics to improve ethical decision making. First, they must be highly sensitive to issues of right and wrong and the right way to conduct oneself, before identifying the acts that bear moral contents in the decisions made. Second, the officers must have the capacity to point moral reasoning and justify behaviors before making any ruling in criminal justice (Singer, 1995).
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Carlsmith, K. & Darley, J. (2002). Why Do We Punish? Deterrence and Just Deserts as Motives for Punishment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(2): 284-299.
Clarke, R. & Cornish, D. (1983). Modeling Offenders’ Decisions: A Framework for Research and Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
DeShon, R. (2000). Police Officers Oath of Office and Code of Ethics: A Question of Knowledge. Michigan: Eastern University Press.
Hurlbert, M. & Mulvale, J. (2009). Defining Justice. Retrieved, April 22 2014, from http://fernwoodpublishing.ca/website_pdfs/pursuingjustice.pdf
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Kopko, J. (2011). Facing Ethics in Criminal Justice Through a Christian Worldview. Spring: Liberty University Press.
Moore, M. (1984). Law and Psychiatry. Cambridge. England: Cambridge University Press.
NHTSA. (2007). The Criminal Justice System: A Guide for Law Enforcement Officers and Expert Witnesses in Impaired Driving Cases. United States of America: Washington, DC.
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Von, H. (1976). Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishment. New York: Hill and Wang.
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