You analyze the relationship between ethics and professional behavior in the administration of criminal justice. Explain the role of critical thinking with regard to the relationship of ethics and professional behavior. Include in your paper a proposal for a seminar in ethics training for law enforcement officers. In your proposal choose five areas of ethical conduct and that will be stressed in the seminar. Explain why you chose those areas and what the expected benefits of the training will be for both officers and the community.
Relationship between Moral Behavior and Ethics
Ethics are the guidelines on which the actions of an individual are based in order to ensure that such actions are morally correct. In essence, ethics is the will of taking the morally correct actions, without considering the consequences of the circumstances and evaluating its effect on the society. The aim of this paper is to identify why ethical considerations are significant in the age of criminal justice. Is it about the due process? Is it about discretion? Is it about the use or force? Or how ethics and morality affects the way in which people behave and act. The paper also explores the role of critical thinking with respect to the relationship between professional behavior and ethics. The paper further proposes a seminar towards the law enforcement officers in relation to ethics training. The five areas in relation to ethical conduct would be emphasized on in the. The reason why which such areas have been chooses and what benefits may be derived from them are also provided through the paper.
According to Braswell, McCarthy & McCarthy (2017) there is no profession where the demand of ethical consideration is higher than profession of law enforcement. The expectation which is placed on different roles in criminal justice by the society extends to a tremendous degree. It can be said that the foundation of the criminal justice system is ethics. It helps the professionals to develop the basis on which criminal activities are defined, the use of moral resonating and what can be considered as a morally correct punishment. According to Maxfield & Babbie (2014) the criminal justice system becomes effective only when it is run on the principles of ethical behavior.
As provided by Reiman & Leighton (2015) professional behavior is directly influenced by the moral principles used by a person in relation to the work. If the actions of a person are based on ethical considerations it would be very difficult to find out the flaws in such actions and it would be beneficial for the society. However according to Albanese (2015) there is nothing which can be described as a perfect action as criticism always prevails in the society. Thus when it comes to the selection of a course of action by people involved in the role of criminal justice the actions have to be based on ethics to derive the most appropriate action based on the situation. There is a clear relationship between professional behavior and ethics when it comes to the criminal justice system. According to the definition of ethics, they are the guidelines one must observe so that a moral behavior acceptable to the society overall can be initiated, thus if ethics are not observed by professionals in the criminal justice system they would not be able to provide observe a behavior which is morally correct specially in situations of ethical dilemmas. Furthermore every officer must know that they inhabit in a fishbowl and their actions are observed by relatives, friends, strangers and neighbors not only when they are on duty but also how they behave in the society. According to Cole, Smith & DeJong (2015) the society often criticizes law enforcement officers more than any other professional in the society and wait for opportunities to detect and highlight the mistakes made by them. This may be become of the human nature or the demand of strong leader the society has from them. Thus it is the duty of law enforcement officers to ensure that they are always beyond any reproach when it comes to their professional and private rights.
Role of Critical Thinking
There are a few terms which are associated with the meaning of ethics which has to be understood and the most important of them is values. Values denote the actions, behaviors and ideas which are significant to the society. They are those things which are worth fighting and sacrificing for and the basis of our understanding system is framed through values. The basis of the understating system is achieved by values. The way in which values can be achieved by the law enforcement officers is through the incorporation of ethics within their behavior.
Critical thinking plays a vital role towards the observations of ethics with respect to the behavior of the law enforcement officers according to Griffiths (2014) a large role is played by critical thinking when it comes to ethics as it is the process of determining whether a action is morally correct or not. Critical thinking can be defined as a form of analysis through which determination of fictions vs. facts is made and an appropriate understanding is reached. When a critical thinking approach is adopted within the mindset it provides the opportunity to make an appropriate decision based upon verified information and truths instead of variables and unknowns. When the variables are eliminated there the chances of bringing out the plain truth are high and an appropriate decision can be based on them. In order to be truly ethical the presence of an analytical mind is of most significance as it is human nature to not care and forget and to use a thinking system which is self sufficient in order to derive personal benefits. A series of questions is asked when it comes to the critical thinking test which consists of “yes” or “no”. The question are successive and helps the law enforcement officers to make an appropriate choice. A few questions in relation to critical thinking are, is the action legal, will it have a moral result, are there a better alternative and whether the decision can be justified when it is subjected to public scrutiny (Pollock, 2014).
The paper proposes a seminar for the law enforcement offices with respect to ethical training. The training is provided on the basis of five areas of ethical conduct which have been selected. The first area on which training has to be provided is in relation to the promotion of ethics and ethical conduct in law enforcement. It is important for the law enforcement officers to understand that why ethical standards are imposed and explained to police officers when they are inducted into the system. Each law enforcement officer should promote ethical conduct when to the extent which is possible for them. The promotion must not only be limited to the police academy but also the sector of the society which is influenced by them. The next area which has been identified in relation to ethical conduct is the integrity which the law enforcement officers must observe towards their course of actions. As discussed above, highest level of expectations in relation to ethical behavior is placed on the law enforcement officers and thus the level of integrity they must observe towards the course of action taken by them must be intense. Integrity in ethics can be defined as the quality of having strong moral principles and acting honestly. Thus if integrity is observed accurately it would ensure that implementation of critical thinking is proper. The code of ethics is the third area which the law enforcement officers need to be aware of when it comes to ethical conduct. The code of ethics is a written form of principles which is established within a law enforcement system. The system has to be referred to by the officers when they do not know how to react and behave in specifics ethical dilemmas. Thus every officer must base their decisions on the code of ethics as far as possible in order to ensure proper implementation of a morale behavior. Kindness is the fourth area of ethical conduct which has been chosen to provide training on to the law enforcement officers. Kindness is the key to establish a relationship and it is important for the law enforcement officers to establish a positive relationship with the society. Kindness would also promote a humble behavior along with raising critical thinking to enhance moral decision making. Finally, training with respect to the introduction of tests in order to enhance an ethical conduct has to be provided to the law enforcement officers. These tests are the critical thinking test which is conducted through assessing one’s actions by asking questions before an action is implemented. The media test may also be initiated through which an officer may asses his actions by analyzing that how would people react to the course of action if pushed in the front page. And finally the gut test according to which if and action feels wrong than it is generally wrong (Siegel & Worrall, 2014).
Concluding the paper it can be stated that there is a relationship between moral behavior and ethics which cannot be doubted. Ethics influence the actions taken by the individual and prevent the individuals from taking selfish actions. The need of ethics with respect to law enforcement officers in the most in the society as they are often taken as role models for others. Critical thinking has to be initiated by the person in order to appropriately observe morality in relation to their behavior. Critical thinking aids the law enforcement officers to assess their own actions based on different questions which substantially enhance their accountability to themselves.
Albanese, J. S. (2015). Professional ethics in criminal justice: Being ethical when no one is looking. Pearson.
Braswell, M. C., McCarthy, B. R., & McCarthy, B. J. (2017). Justice, crime, and ethics. Taylor & Francis.
Cole, G. F., Smith, C. E., & DeJong, C. (2015). The American system of criminal justice. Nelson Education.
Griffiths, C. (2014). Canadian Criminal Justice: A Primer, 5e (Vol. 5). Nelson Education.
Maxfield, M. G., & Babbie, E. R. (2014). Research methods for criminal justice and criminology. Nelson Education.
Pollock, J. M. (2014). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Nelson Education.
Reiman, J., & Leighton, P. (2015). The rich get richer and the poor get prison: Ideology, class, and criminal justice. Routledge.
Siegel, L. J., & Worrall, J. L. (2014). Essentials of criminal justice. Cengage Learning.
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