Criminal Justice Ethics

Criminal Justice Ethics

The Law enforcement organizational culture is determined by the police subculture. The subculture is what determines how police officers carry out their tasks, the degree of hard work they employ into their jobs, their relationship with other officers and people around the enforcement and their attitude towards laws, police administrators, judges and the requirements that are imposed by this group. This culture and their formal expectations as officers of the law cause a lot of pressure. They also affect the way that the officers view other people that are not within their area and their actions towards them. The isolation that the officers have from the community, leads them to form subcultural attributes that include shared, protective and supportive attitudes, perception and understandings and values.

In result, a police society is formed. These attributes reflect the major beliefs that most police officers hold. They take on attitudes that would ensure their relationship with other officers, is not implicated. Some consider hard work as a risk to exposing oneself and being sanctioned. Isolation also causes officers to be more loyal to their fellow workmates than the public. For example, this culture is reflected in the case of the deputy chief. The chief is involved in an accident, which he flees. The officer on patrol gets hold of him driving under the influence of alcohol and determines that the vehicle has clear evidences of being involved in the accident. The officer calls on her supervisor, who on arriving at the scene manipulates the evidence to appear as though an external factor had led to the accident.

This shows the loyalty, protective and supportive attitudes caused by the organizational culture. The supervisor further instructs the officer to write a report that would follow the manipulated evidence. The officer agrees to without question. This could be due to the loyalty of officers or due to fear of the supervisor. The officer could also be in fear of implicating her relationship with colleagues. My options with regard to the case would be to carry out an investigation on the incident. This would involve investigation on the accident, the officers and other people involved and how the evidence was changed and manipulated. With the collected evidence, my options are either deal with case internally or involve outside investigation. My other option regarding the case would be to report it to my superiors and leave the case and decision in their hands.

Potential consequences of the decisions that I make include losing my job, trust and loyalty of other officers. Since the deputy officer has connections from powerful personality, including his wife, I could lose my job if I report him. The deputy could work his way through the case, by using these connections. The wife and other connections could also use their power to dismiss me from my job. I could also lose the trust and loyalty of my colleagues, when they learn that I have reported a fellow officer. The moral and ethical considerations that need to be evaluated in any decision I make include integrity, justice, honesty, loyalty, fairness and courage. In this case, several ethics were overlooked. Integrity would be evaluated in the manipulation of evidence and writing of a false report.

The lieutenant puts evidence on the deputy’s vehicle that would make it look as something caused the accident. He also instructs the officer to write a false report on the accident, using the false evidence. There was also lack of justice, for the deputy officer. After committing a felony, the deputy is freed without any actions of justice. In addition, the officer does not run a blood alcohol test on him even though it is clear that the deputy is under the influence of alcohol. The officers involved in the manipulation of evidence should also be given justice for the felony committed. Strategies that could be used to reduce police misconduct include ethics training. Criminal justice organizations can reduce the misconduct of their officers through training of ethics. This would increase their awareness on ethics and moral considerations that should be made in every situation. In this, the officers would be able to understand the nature of an event and decide the ethically appropriate action.

Potential strategies that could be used to reduce police misconduct include employment of only the best-trained officers and supervision. The employment of best individuals would start during recruitment as well as training. Individuals will go through psychological screening before being admitted. This would ensure that the individual’s moral standards are determined. Training on ethics, the appropriate way to use force and brutality issues, is increased. The new officers may also be taken through a longer period of probation, before employment. The employment of best individuals ensures that most of the individuals employed have strong moral standards. Another potential strategy that could be considered is the supervision of police officers. Criminal justice could introduce the supervision of police. This would ensure that every action the police take is supervised. In this, there will be no misconduct of behavior, as the officers know that they are being watched.

The blue wall of silence is reflected by the lieutenant when he changes the evidence on the deputy’s accident and lies to the AID. The officer in patrol also shows this value, by complying with the instructions of the lieutenant. She writes a false report on the accident and does not tell the AID the truth regarding the accident. Whistle blowing will be reflected if I report the misconduct of the deputy chief in the accident and the other officers involved in the covering up for it. The legal safeguards that would be afforded to me are protection against any unfair treatment that I could receive because of reporting the incident.




The Police Culture. Introduction to Policing (4), 97-124. Retrieved from

Ede, A., Homel, R. & Prenzler, T. Reducing Complaints against Police and Preventing Misconduct: A Diagnostic Study Using Hot Spot Analysis. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 27-42. Retrieved from

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