Paper Example. Philosophical And Practice Approach For Balancing Issues

Published: 2023-08-29
Paper Example. Philosophical And Practice Approach For Balancing Issues
Essay type:  Personal statement
Categories:  Ethics Profession Personal experience Criminal justice
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1263 words
11 min read

Working in the criminal justice profession needs to have certain ethical standards as well as the code of conduct. Making appropriate decisions, especially in complicated circumstances, demands one to be ethical. Essentially, it is vital to have an ethical philosophy since, in the field of criminal justice, people have to handle the criminals and victims while facing conflicts of interest and ethical practices. A lot of ethical decisions actually needs to be made in my professional career. Therefore, this paper will reveal how my personal philosophy as well as my approach for balancing issues of people’s rights and also the protection of the public, balancing the issues pertaining to the immoral means, balancing the rewards and also punishment issues and finally the meaning of Ethics of Care and Peacemaking Criminology to the professionals in the law enforcement sector.

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The role of law enforcement usually is not an easy one as it is mandated with the job of enforcing law and order. The officials in the profession are under the pressure of observing some of the standards of established operating procedures, a personal judgment as well as the situational decision-making influence on the course of action taken. It the context of the interests of the public, it becomes hard for any officer to protect one’s rights because of the clashing rights as well as the interests. Hence for effective performance, it is essential to have the right philosophy and the approach, which will be helpful in facilitating the balance of issues.

Therefore, because the enforcement of the laws is just like any other profession, the standards in ethics and ethical conduct have a key role to play. In this case, my personal philosophy in ethics is built on the deontology as well as the utilitarian approach. The use of the utilitarian approach brings in the balance of both negative and positive outcomes (Alpert, 2009). Acknowledging that both the limiting of any individual rights as well as the consequential result for the best interest needs to be taken into account. For example, my profession of choice would be if I be aware of some of the challenging actions whereby one of my cases might be involved in particularly if it were to lead to public harm, then I would have an obligation of reporting the matter in a bid to prevent it.

The use of Reward and Punishment in Criminal Justice

There are some of the main critical duties of the criminal justice system, and one of them involves the reform of the individual who has been under the conviction of the criminal offenses. Therefore, in trying to achieve the reform agenda, the correctional systems use a series of rewards and also systems of punishment to alleviate the negative behavior while encouraging the positive way of doing things, i.e., the stick and the carrot approach (Yemini, 2014). Mainly the theory of ethical utilitarianism promotes that which brings about happiness, especially to the majority as ethical. In contrast, justice and fairness theories, rights, and duties theories consider equality as well as justice achievement for all as the ethical.

The issue of punishment, which is negative reinforcement, is a technique used in discouraging the negative behaviors which are undesirable while on the other hand, positive reinforcement encourages positive behavior. Hence the utilitarianism theory, which is applied within the legal system’s context for the punishments and the rewards, will help in facilitating the striking of balance to this issue (Yemini, 2014). Any law enforcement police will employ a method which derives the maximum benefits to the majority while at the same time employing the techniques which are delineated within the law to enhance the reform of the individuals who are convicted (Andrews, 2011). For instance, the isolation cell is a punitive measure for offenses in any correctional facility. Putting one engaged in violent behavior in the facility within the isolation cell is a kind of punishment that is meant to discourage the undesirable behaviors and is within the approved methods of laying the punishments to the convicts. Also, this will be useful to the correctional officers and other convicts.

The Use of the Immoral Means in Accomplishing Desirable Ends

In the process of playing their roles, the officers in the law enforcement are forced to do what might be deemed as immoral in achieving a greater good. Actually, not all which is legal is moral, and also not all, which is immoral is illegal. For instance, it may be essential to use lies to the suspects to ensure the completion of an investigation or even pay for information, which is important in bribing some of the witnesses, and this could be related to being an immoral issue (Christie, 2008) The approach of consequentialism mainly focused on the determination of an issue’s ethicality, which will facilitate the official in the law enforcement in striking a balance between the practicality and philosophical in this case. In accordance with the theory, the end justifies the means, and there is a possibility that any police officer may employ an immoral way in case it facilitates the achievement of the greater good.

Guantanamo Bay, for example, holding for the suspects and the allegations of the use of the enhanced interrogation methods, is the use of an immoral approach in a bid to achieve a greater good (Berenji, 2014). The criminals who considered the terrorists might result in property destruction and even death. Then it becomes ethically appropriate to do that if the use of the enhanced techniques in interrogation will aid in extracting information from the suspected criminals, and this can further be justified by the theories of ethical utilitarianism. With the use of the enhanced methods of interrogation, the officials within the law enforcement will be able to avert the human life loss besides the property destruction by the activity of the terrorist.

Ethics of Care and Peacemaking Criminology

The law enforcement officers have an obligation of fostering the safety of the public by using any of the necessary means. The police officers, however, will use nonviolent means in law enforcement despite having leeway in determining how to enforce the stated laws. Hence the ethics of care, as well as peacemaking, is founded under such principles. Any officer will, therefore, have a duty of using the amicable approaches to address issues, and in case it fails, they may resort to violent means or others. Furthermore, with the increased desire of including the society the initiatives of the community policing, t has become imperative for the police officers to use amicable techniques which will foster a good relationship with the members of the public, as the community perceives law enforcement officials as humane in case they adopt and use the ethics of care and also peacemaking as the ethical and moral principle guide.


Alpert, G. P., & Noble, J. J. (2009). Lies, True Lies, and Conscious Deception Police Officers and the Truth. Police quarterly, 12(2), 237-254.

Andrews, D. A., Bonta, J., & Wormith, J. S. (2011). The risk-need-responsivity (RNR) model: Does adding the good lives model contribute to effective crime prevention? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 38(7), 735-755.

Berenji, B., Chou, T., & D'Orsogna, M. R. (2014). Recidivism and rehabilitation of criminal offenders: A carrot and stick evolutionary game. PloS one, 9(1), e85531.

Christie, T., Groarke, L., & Sweet, W. (2008). Virtue ethics as an alternative to deontological and consequential reasoning in the harm reduction debate. International Journal of Drug Policy, 19(1), 52-58.

Yemini, M. (2014). Conflictual Moralities, Ethical Torture: Revisiting the Problem of “Dirty Hands”. Ethical theory and moral practice, 17(1), 163-180.

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