Ethical decision making in criminal justice

Ethical Decision Making in Criminal Justice Question One Ethics are by no means limited to duties, they extend to personal desires. Based on the basic definition of ethics, it involves sacrificing one’s desires and personal wants for an alternative that perceivably offers a feasible solution to a given problem . Therefore, ethics encompass execution of one’s duties in line with the set code of ethics with no regard to one’s personal desires. This is in line with the different ethical theories that govern decision making (Banks, 2004). For instance, it is against one’s desire to put on paper about a negative past such as in the Marijuana case, but it is unethical to write otherwise. This clearly illustrates how far ethics encroach into personal desires.
Question Two
To start with, it is unethical to lie in the questionnaire. However, in the event that the prospective police officer lies and does not get discovered, there still will be implications on the officer’s operations. One of the ways in which this event would affect the police officer’s operation is through the initiation of a chain of events geared at covering up the past. The police officer will always be afraid that one day the truth may be discovered leading to a tougher consequence; maybe get dismissed and a jail term on top of it all. This greatly impedes on the police officer’s execution of duties due to the fear of getting discovered as well as a guilty conscience(Prenzler, 2009).
Question Three
Telling the truth would have been the ethical thing to do for the police officer. This would have been the first step towards acceptance of past mistakes and indicating the will to forge ahead with no burden at all. Telling the truth serves as an indicator of how committed he is to upholding ethics in the new workplace. By telling the truth, the police officer will be free of any guilt and will also earn more credibility from the officers to whom he is required to report. This implies that the officer has more to gain than lose by telling the truth, which would in turn may be used as a basis to clear his name from the past mess. The decision must be based on personal discretion and possible results of the due process (Pollock, 2012).
Question Four
It would make no sense to reveal details of one’s involvement in a past mischief and leave the details of those that were party to it. It is obvious that there are agencies that will follow up the revealed details to confirm their validity and truthfulness. This means that the friend’s involvement will be discovered. In the event that, the friend’s details were left out, it would appear as if one is trying to cover up for the other. Therefore, if asked to, it is only ethical to reveal the involvement of the friend to adequately meet the need for telling the truth. However, it may also not be important to tell about the friend if the details are not of paramount significance to the reason for seeking the truth at first since it may lead to dismissal of all parties involved( Prenzler, 2009).
Question Five
Including the friend in the report has both positive and negative implications. It will be of positive effect to the new police officer since it will indicate his commitment to upholding the code of ethics. However, the friend will be exposed and may even stand losing his job on the grounds that he had been working as part of the criminal justice system before being cleared of past offenses(Pollock, 2012).
Question Five (A)
Based on the ethical theories that govern decision making, it is important to make decisions that are well informed of the possible consequences. Utilitarianism requires an objective outlook into the positives and negatives of lying in the questionnaire. It might be unethical to lie, but it will be pertinent in ensuring the the prospective officer smoothly lands the job and also helps the friend keep his. Therefore, it is justifiable to lie in the questionnaire (Banks, 2004).
Banks, C. (2004). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
Pollock, J. M. (2012). Ethical Dilemmas & Decisions in Criminal Justice (7th . Ed.).
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Prenzler, T. (2009). Ethics and Accountability in Criminal Justice: Towards a Universal Standard. Bowen Hills: Australian Academic Press.