Ethics is referred to as what is right or wrong and your moral principles. Criminal justice administration are faced with ethical issues every day and must deal with this ethical issues in a professional manner. The administration in criminal justice especially the policing administration struggle with ethics and professional behavior in certain situations and may find it difficult to handle. The criminal justice administration has the obligation of making moral judgments of what is right or wrong and must be done professionally and with the use of critical thinking. This paper will analyze the relationship between ethics and professional behavior and the role critical thinking plays in the relationship of ethics and professional behavior. Because law enforcement plays a big role in ethics and professional behavior I will propose a training seminar for law enforcement.
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Not only are the consequences of unethical acts by criminal justice professionals quite serious, but there are also many possibilities for conflicts to arise in the area of criminal justice, which can lead to unethical decisions and behaviors (Ozyasar, n.d.). Criminal justice administration is the influence in society and ethics and professional behavior must be practiced at all times. When criminal justice administration is unethical and lacks professional behavior society loses faith in the criminal justice system. Good ethics bring on professional behavior. Ethics and professional behavior are related because they both need each other. Without ethics there would not be professional behavior and professional behavior would not exist without ethics. Law enforcement plays a big part in criminal justice administration. Police officers must have good ethics and use professional behavior at all times. Society looks at police officers as the ones who protect and serve. Ethics are important in law enforcement and usually good ethics brings on professional behavior from law enforcement as well as other administrations in criminal justice. Unethical behavior by the criminal justice system harms society weakening our beliefs in them. Members of the criminal justice system make extremely critical decisions every day and their choices have a profound effect on our lives (Ozyasar, n.d.). Critical thinking plays an important role with regard to ethics and professional behavior. In order for the criminal justice administration to use good ethics and professional behavior they need to think critically. Law enforcement, courts, and corrections rely on critical thinking to make good decisions. Law enforcement must use critical thinking to determine if a law has been broken, how to respond, and when to make an arrest (Ozyasar, n.d.). When law enforcement thinks critically this will bring out good ethics and professional behavior. When law enforcement does not first think critically they respond to quickly without first thinking about ethics and acting in a professional manner and may arrest the wrong person and let the real criminal go. The courts also rely on critical thinking to oversee legal proceedings and determine a final decision on a case (Ozyasar, n.d.). Prosecution and defense attorneys as well rely on critical thinking in preparing and arguing for or against the accused party (ozyasar, n.d.). Without critical thinking the courts may have a difficult time determining if the accused in fact really committed the crime. The court system administration takes in a lot of information and must first think critically before making a decision. Critical thinking must come first in order for the court system to act ethically and in a professional manner. Corrections and parole officers rely on critical thinking to evaluate the progress of individuals, sponsor reductions in sentences and maintain order within prison facilities (Ozyasar, n.d.). Corrections and parole officers are faced with dangerous situations many times and need to think critically in order to deal with the situation ethically and professionally. Criminal justice administration individuals all have their own ethics and behavior. Although sometimes everyone has different ethics they must set aside their beliefs and make the right decision regardless of their feelings in the situation. Good ethical and professional behavior is important in criminal justice administration and in order for this to happen critical thinking is needed.
Law enforcement is faced with ethical dilemmas every day and it is important that they handles these situations by first thinking critically so that they can do their job ethically and professionally. I feel that law enforcement needs ethical training because they deal with so many different situations and how they react to these situations need to be done ethically and with professional behavior. Ethics training for law enforcement helps them to readily recognize an ethical problem or dilemma, identify various options to address the particular issue involved, make a rational and ethically sound choice of which option to choose, take prompt action based upon that choice, and accept responsibility for the outcome (Gleason, 2006). The seminar would stress some particular areas of ethical conduct that I feel are important. The first area of ethical conduct would be law enforcement using their authority ethically and professionally. I choose this particular area because it is very common for police officers to take their authority to extreme. Certain situations can cause law enforcement to act without thinking and they throw their ethics and professional behavior to the side. Training law enforcement to control their authority will help them uphold a good reputation for themselves as well as the agency and give the community faith in the officer and to not be afraid of that officer or any officer in the agency.
Another area of ethical behavior that would be stressed is law enforcement performing their duties without the influence of a person’s sex or color. Regardless of a criminal’s race or sex law enforcement should treat them as they would anyone else. In certain situations a police officer needs to put their opinion aside and treat the person ethically and in a professional manner. Training the officer in this area will help them treat everyone equally and the community will feel like they have an unbiased law enforcement agency. Another area of ethics would be law enforcement should treat their fellow employees and the community with respect. Law enforcement should act ethically towards everyone and uphold professional behavior at all times. Training officers to do this helps them to be a role model for their agency as well as the community. Another area of ethical behavior I feel that needs to be stressed in the seminar would be that under any circumstances should law enforcement except gifts or bribes from anyone in the community or in the agency. It would be unethical and unprofessional for any police officer.
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In the seminar I would also stressed the importance of honesty by law enforcement. Honesty would consist of withholding evidence would be immoral and unprofessional. Our communities need to feel that they can trust our law enforcement and feel safe. Law enforcement effectiveness depends upon community respect and confidence (FDLE, n.d.). Therefore law enforcement must be proficient in ethical conduct and be professional at all times. Police officers are held to a higher standard of behavior by society, because they are stewards of the public trust and are empowered to apply force and remove constitutional privileges when lawfully justified. They take an oath of office, are expected to comply with professional code of ethics, and are subject to various laws, rules, and regulations (Gleason, 2006). Therefore I feel that my proposal for ethics training for law enforcement is necessary because of the expectations and requirements that law enforcement has to uphold professional behavior and code of ethics. In order for our criminal justice administration to function properly a clear understanding of ethics and professional behavior is needed. Due to the power and prestige and because of the nature of problems they must deal with, the members of the criminal justice system often face serious conflicts and need a guiding light, which is precisely what a code of ethics provides (Ozyasar, n.d.). In order for the criminal justice administration to display good ethics and professional behavior they must first think critically. The decisions that the criminal justice administration make are critical and they must first have to think about their decision and act ethically and with professional behavior. Law enforcement is faced with many dilemmas that require them to make critical decisions and must make these decisions ethically. Law enforcement training in ethical conduct can help officers do their jobs professionally and show the community they are doing their jobs ethically and with professional behavior. Ethics, professional behavior, and critical thinking are the most important roles in our criminal justice administration.
- Ozyasar, H. (n.d.). Why is ethics important in criminal justice. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/about_6386561_ethics-important-criminal-justice_.html
- Baer, A. (n.d.). How critical thinking relates to criminaljustice. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/facts_7370099_critical-thinking-relates-criminal-justice.html
- Gleason, T. (2006). Ethics training for police. Retrieved from http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1054&issue_id=112006
- Florida department of law enforcement. (n.d.). officer requirements. Retrieved from http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/CJST/Menu/Officer-Requirements-Main-Page/LE-Ethical-Standards-of-Conduct.aspx
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