Essay Sample on Criminal Justice Ethics

Published: 2022-05-27
Essay Sample on Criminal Justice Ethics
Type of paper:  Argumentative essay
Categories:  Ethics Criminal justice
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1472 words
13 min read

The day-to-day life in criminal justice poses challenges like any other profession. Most of the daily experiences in the profession are expected while others are random. In any profession, a code of ethics should be followed despite the outcomes. Every professional has a duty to make ethical decisions that conform to the requirements of their profession. In criminal justice, mostly ethical dilemmas are part of the job. Many professionals in criminal justice are faced with ethical challenges in breaking the law and maintaining human rights. Sometimes the job entails going an extra mile to make sure the job is done. But does this involve adherence to ethical standards? Criminal justice ethics issues are mostly experienced by police officers (Albanese 18). They experience discriminations whether intentionally or unintentionally in their day to day activities. It is normal in their line of to experience victimization and discrimination. However they are required to act in an ethical manner and uphold fairness and justice. Ethical issues in criminal justice that faced by individuals on their daily basis include maintaining fairness and justice, ensuring equality, protecting human rights, using reasonable force during arrests and ensuring that public servants maintain discipline and work principles outside work lifestyle.

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In America, criminal justice ethics issues exist in various avenues. One of the cases of consideration is a situation in which a police officer finds himself in a dilemma whether to arrest a drunk driver because they might lose their job despite having a family to support. Failure to arrest the driver is illegal and arresting the driver might lead to loss of a job. this driver is the breadwinner in the family puts the traffic police officer in a dilemma whether to do what is humane and let the driver go or arrest him according to requirements of the law.

In a case where the driver is not arrested, he puts other people use the road at risk. The life of other road users such as pedestrians and motorists are putting danger by the drunk driver who is allowed to go by the police officer. The officer should ensure justice is served without violating the rights of other parties such as the family members of the drunk driver. At the same time, the police officer should guarantee the safety of all citizens and protect them from reckless driving. Arresting the driver may be the right thing to according to the law but it will leave the drivers family without a provider for their needs (Pollock 34). The officer needs to make a hard choice that is right according to the situation and ensure the safety of everyone. Ethical decisions are set to upset one party, group or an individual. One cannot satisfy everyone, it is a matter of choosing what seems to be more right than the other. Criminal justice is a profession with many ethical decisions to make and promote justice.

The discriminator

The traffic is an avenue where all forces come together to navigate and get to their destination safely. On a normal day, pedestrians and motorists move smoothly without breaking any traffic laws. They respect each one right and follow the traffic rules to ensure safe journeys. Every person the road is responsible and self-conscious on their own actions. Sometimes, these people infringe the right of others by overtaking without consideration of the consequences of their actions. Some end up being ashamed of their actions while others feel that it is a normal thing to break the law and get away with it.

A traffic police officer is mandated to ensure all players in the traffic follow the laws and assure all travelers of safety. On a normal day, the officer should arrest lawbreakers and charge them. It is a good thing that every person knows the work of a traffic police officer. Despite knowing the traffic rules some will drink and drive. Despite knowing the consequences of their actions, drunk drivers will try and convince police officers of their innocence. In the above situation, the driver becomes the discriminator. When he drives while drunk despite knowing the dangers involved in the actions, the driver is undermining the authority of a police officer. They are also discriminating against the law and other people using the road. The drunk driver should know that when they are caught they might lose their job but despite this, they decide to discriminate against the police officers authority. The police officer runs into a number of discriminators when his ethical principles are tested by putting them into a dilemma of deciding whether to arrest a drunk driver or let them go so as to protect their jobs.

The Victim

There are cases of discrimination where direct victimization is not realized. In the above case, the event which leads to discrimination of the officer's mandate shows that the police officer is the victim. His mandate is being discriminated which results to the victimization of ethical standards. The officer is a victim of making the hard choice whether to arrest the drunk driver or not. The police officer is confronted with an ethical dilemma which requires a hard decision to make. If the officer arrests the driver, they are likely to lose their job. Considering the driver is the breadwinner in the family, the children will suffer the consequences of the arrest. On the other hand, the officer will have broken the law if he allows the driver to continue his journey while drunk. This might also endanger the lives of other road users. Whatever decision the police officer makes, it will remain to haunt their conscious. This makes the officer a victim of criminal justice ethics. Technically the officer is a victim of authority and ethical discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Social Factors and Forces Underlying Discrimination

Discrimination is a sociological issue which is geared by human behavioral patterns. There is no much to compromise when it comes to authority discrimination. In the case of the police is in a compromising position because of ethical standards. Some people take advantage of ethical issues to undermine others. The drivers' behavior is due to his knowledge of the criminal justice. The driver is taking advantage of the ethics in criminal justice to discriminate the officer. The officer becomes a victim perhaps because he is not decisive enough. Why would the driver decide to drink and drive despite knowing that they put other people in danger? The driver knows that when arrested they might lose their job and will not be able to provide for the family. The discriminatory behavior if allowed to continue it will escalate and others will borrow from the same behavior. This discriminatory behavior may also have been promoted by previous events when the driver was allowed to go despite being drunk. In such a case the discriminator will use same tactics to escape the law. Continuous discrimination results from the continuous compromise of criminal justice ethics.

Sociological Knowledge and Insights

Criminal justice involves socialization of professions in the justice department to the outside world. The day to day life involves making hard decisions in order to survive for another day (Shaw 2). Professionals in criminal justice should relate in a good manner to the general public. They are supposed to assure them of their safety, justice and equality. Apart from doing their work, professionals in criminal justice should uphold moral ethics and maintain a principled relationship with the public. Social behavior is one of the many things that create a good relationship among people. At the same time, good social relationships build trust among people.

The above mentioned ethical issue in criminal justice is a matter of understanding and moral justice. As much as a police officer does their job; they should not ignore the social lives of their subjects. Being a police officer does not guarantee to bind the law blindly. As a sociological insight, criminal justice allows people to look deep into the implications of the actions and how they affect other people (Cole, Et al 56)). The above mentioned ethical issue is an eye-opener to the many more issues that are faced in criminal justice. The police officer in the above-mentioned situation may choose to give a warning to the driver and protect the driver's job or arrest the driver and risk him losing his job and leave the driver's family in the cold. Either way, the police officer should consider the sociological implications that result from his decision.

Works Cited

Albanese, Jay S. Professional ethics in criminal justice: Being ethical when no one is looking. Prentice Hall, 2015.

Cole, George F., Christopher E. Smith, and Christina DeJong. The American system of criminal justice. Cengage Learning, 2018.

Pollock, Joycelyn M. Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Nelson Education, 2014.

Shaw, V.N., 2013. Conspicuous and Inconspicuous Discriminations in Everyday Life (Vol. 80). Routledge.

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