Essay Example about Correctional Officer Code of Ethics

Published: 2018-11-05
Essay Example about Correctional Officer Code of Ethics
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Criminal law Ethics Profession
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 974 words
9 min read

The correctional system

A code of ethics outlines the values and mission of an organization, the organization's principles based on its core values, the standard in which the professional is held and how the professionals of an organization are expected to approach problems. To ensure that members adhere to the code of ethics, correctional agencies have been set up to ensure a smooth running of the correctional system. The roles of the correctional agencies include protection the citizens from dangerous individuals separating the criminals and the innocent, punishment of the wrongdoers and rehabilitation. All these roles are aimed at ensuring that the criminals are taken away from other individuals to avoid further harm. Also, the roles focus on making sure that the criminals are given the necessary punishment for their crimes and also rehabilitate those who have repeated the same crime for several times (Ward & Salmon, 2009).

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The American Correctional Association is a correctional agency that expects the members to be honest, committed to compassionate and professional service and respect the humanity and dignity of all human beings. ACA was specifically developed for practitioners of the correctional profession. It is the oldest association that has championed correctional effectiveness and the cause of corrections for over 146 years. I am basing my responses on this association's code of ethics because it has theoretically and practically advanced set of principles. All those years of excellence globally make it worth consideration (Hanser, 2014).

The codes of ethics or principles

The codes of ethics or principles that I can identify and will apply to this scenario are:

1. Members should treat with concern every single professional situation for the welfare of all individuals involved without intentions for personal gain.

2. Members should protect and respect the legal and civil rights of all individuals.

3. Members should refrain from using the positions they are in for personal advantage or privilege.

4. Members should not allow personal interest to impair neutrality while performing their duties or when acting in any official capacity.

These identified codes of ethics apply to the scenario because it can be seen that the correctional officer acted the way he did because of personal reasons. He failed to protect the inmatets legal right to protection. Although the inmate was directing complaints to him, he still had a right to being protected by the officer from any harm. He also used his position for personal advantage since he slapped the inmate to relieve himself from the stress he had due to family issues. The officer also failed to treat with concern the situation he was in, thus did not enhance the welfare of the inmate. He allowed his personal problems to take over while performing his duty thus impairing with the objectivity of his actions (Albanese, 2015).

The corrections officer and his work

Because the corrections officer has been a competent and dedicated employee to his job before his problems, I would choose not to fire him. The reason for my choice is that firing him will ruin his good reputation and may make him been seen as a non-industrious worker. It will also cause him problems when trying to secure another employment or when conducting himself in general since it would be concluded that he does not have a good conduct. I would rather give him a chance to resign as an alternative to terminating him so that he can be able to find himself some other job once his problems are solved, and he feels stable to work in again in demanding situations. This step will also allow the officer to uphold his good reputation of being a diligent worker initially.

Allowing the officer to resign as per his request will alone not be of the best help to him in dealing with his problems and act of misconduct. He will go away feeling awful about his actions and may never forgive himself all his life. I will consider taking another course of action that will involve counseling him concerning the family problems. I will also go ahead to identify the gaps that the problems build regarding his attitudes towards the ethics of the workplace. This action will help us come up with solutions that enhance a culture of trust and integrity as well as help the officer reform and learn to avoid bringing family matters to the workplace in future.

The subculture of the institution

I based my decision of allowing him to design rather that terminating him from the officers past performance. Since he had never violated the code of ethics and he also confessed that he slapped the inmate and was sorry for his act, he deserved to be given a second chance. It is also evident that his action was due to his personal problems so he deserves a benefit of the doubt of assuming that he would not have acted so if there was no personal problem.

In my opinion, a small percentage of weight should be given to his problems since he is working with an association whose code of ethics demands that no personal issues have to be brought to the workplace (Hanser, 2014). My decision needs to be substantially guided by the subculture of the institution. Prison subculture, which refers to the informal or unofficial way of conduct, is the behavioral patterns and values of the prison inmates specifically. I will have to consider whether there existed the model of deprivation, which guides one to adapt to a situation, during the time the harm was inflicted so as to be able to give a meaningful decision (Albanese, 2015).


Albanese, J. S. (2015). Professional ethics in criminal justice: Being ethical when no one is looking. Pearson.

Hanser, R. D. (2014). American Correctional Association. The Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Ward, T., & Salmon, K. (2009). The ethics of punishment: Correctional practice implications. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14(4), 239-247.

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