Pollock ethics 8e_ch01
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Pollock ethics 8e_ch01
Morality, Ethics, and Human
Lecture slides prepared by Lisa J. Taylor
Why Study Ethics?
Ethical issues exist in all areas of criminal justice system
(from passage of laws to punishment)
Learning how to determine the “right thing to do” is
Criminal justice professionals have varying degrees of
discretion, authority, and power
Criminal justice professionals encounter a multitude of
situations in which they must make choices that affect
discretion The power and
authority to make a choice between
two or more options.
Legislators: in making laws and determining punishment
Police: in enforcing laws
Attorneys and Judges: affecting justice process
Correctional Professionals: affecting offenders lives
What do criminal justice
professionals have in common?
power to make decisions
duty to enforce the law
obligation to provide “due process” and
“equal protection” for all
commitment to “public service”
•19 members of congress
•14 members violated the law
or engaged in serious
•5 lack regarded for rules
Ethical Demands on Public
• Good character
• Balanced perception
• Integrity (habits of justice, temperance,
courage, compassion, honesty, fortitude, and
disdain for self-pity)
SOURCE: Adapted from Josephson Institute of Ethics, Preserving
the Public Trust, available through www.josephsoninstitute.org
1. Public Service
• Treating the office as a public trust
1. Objective Judgment
• Free from conflict of interest
• Open decision making
1. Democratic Leadership
• Letter/spirit of the law
1. Avoiding appearance of impropriety
Principles of Public Service
Goals of the study of ethics
• Become aware of and open to ethical issues
• Begin developing critical thinking skills
• Become more personally responsible
• Understand coercive element of the justice
• Develop wholesight (the ability to explore with
one’s heart as well as one’s mind)
We Study Ethics…
• Because criminal justice is uniquely involved in
coercion (there are many and varied opportunities
to abuse power).
• Because all criminal justice professionals are
public servants and, thus, owe special duties to
the public they serve.
• To sensitize students to ethical issues and provide
tools to help identify and resolve dilemmas they
may face in lives.
morals The judgment of behavior as right or wrong.
• The term “moral” is often used as an adjective to describe
a person’s actions.
ethics The study and analysis of what constitutes good or
• The term “ethics is often used as an adjective to refer to
behaviors relating to a profession (Example: Hippocratic
Oath for physicians).
* The two words are often used interchangeably.
Why Are Certain Behaviors
• Public safety is usually the reason given
• In other cases, morality is used for
determining which behaviors should be illegal
(Examples: Drugs, gambling, prostitution,
and same-sex marriage)
• How do legislators use their discretion to
balance the rights of ALL people?
• Currently eight states allow
• How do legislators
determine what “the right
thing to do” is?
• What do you think
legislators should do?
• Does your state permit
meta-ethics Technical investigation of the meaning of
ethical terms, as well as how ethical statements can be
normative ethics Definition of right conduct and moral
applied ethics Application of ethical principles to specific
issues or fields.
professional ethics Examination of the behavior of certain
duties Moral obligations that one must carry out to
be considered ethical.
supererogatory An act that goes beyond duty and
is not required to be considered good or moral.
imperfect duties General obligation with no specific
• Served as sheriff in Noble County,
Ohio for 36 years
• Convicted of a felony count of
unlawful interest in a public contract
and a misdemeanor count of conflict
of interest (for nepotism and using
prisoners to perform labor at his
• How did he fare in the local court of
public opinion ?
• What ethical violations did he commit?
values Criteria of desirability,
worth, or importance.
• Financial success
What else are values?
Are some more important than others?
• Sense of urgency
• Attention to detail
• Team oriented
• Performance driven
• Officer Safety
To be judged moral or
behavior must involve:
of free will
• Convicted for conspiracy in an
interstate dog-fighting operation
• 70 dogs involved
• Pled guilty and received 21
months in federal prison
• After his release, signed by
• Was his behavior ethical?
• Discuss different views
Individual or Other Employees
backstabbing and lack of support
sexual or racial harassment
lying to cover up blame
taking credit for others’ work
sexual or racial harassment
Organization and Employees
sexual or racial harassment by
discouraging honest criticism or feedback
arbitrary or unfair decisions
unrealistic or inappropriate demands
putting employees in unnecessary danger
t - 2012
• Judge is accused of creating an
uncomfortable work environment for a
female court employee.
• Allegations unfolded after judge
expressed negative issues regarding
the victim's performance.
• The Supreme Court says it legally
could not charge the judge, as he is
an elected official and not an
• What ethics did he violate?
By the Individual and
work ethic (day’s work for a day’s pay)
petty theft of supplies or cash
gifts and gratuities
misuse of sick days
personal use of supplies or equipment
Morality and Behavior
Even when people know what is right,
sometimes they choose to do wrong—why?
• Criminology (learning, role modeling, & biological
• Other fields seek to answer this question
• Are people fundamentally good or fundamentally
Omar Thornton of Connecticut
walked into his employer, Hartford
Distributors, for a hearing
concerning his possible
termination. During the meeting,
Thornton pulled out a pistol and
shot ten of his coworkers, killing
eight, before turning the gun on
• What caused Thornton to carry out
this horrific act?
• Was he born intrinsically bad?
• Was he a good person that had a
tragic turn of circumstances that
forced him into a criminal act?
Ethical Issues and Dilemmas
• Decriminalization of soft
• Sex-offender registries?
• Death penalty?
• Mandatory DNA testing?
• Racial profiling?
• Same-sex marriage?
• Use drugs?
• Turn in your brother as a
• Vote for the death
penalty as a juror?
• Lie to a friend?
• Turn in your partner for
using excessive force?
• Stop a black driver in an
Steps for Clarifying
1. Review all the facts.
2. Identify relevant values and concepts of all
3. Identify all moral issues of each party.
4. Identify most immediate moral issue facing an
5. Resolve the dilemma by using an ethical system
or other means of decision making.
• Black grandmother and 2 teenagers
stopped for traffic violation
• Driver refused to allow vehicle to be
• Officer called K-9 to conduct “sniff”
• When driver asked why officer thought
they were transporting narcotics, he
pointed to his uniform insignias on his
shoulder and said, “this makes me
• Was the officer acting ethically?
• Was his response appropriate?
• Discretion permeates every phase of the
criminal justice system
• The study of ethics is critical for criminal
• The terms “morals” and “ethics” both relate to
standards of behavior
• It’s important to be able to identify and resolve
ethical issues and dilemmas