Ethics and Criminal Justice

Ethics and Criminal Justice

Police are guided by codes of conduct as they provide services to the members of the public. However, there are cases where police engage in misconduct and abuse their offices through corruption. This report delineates on the ethical aspects concerning police conduct.

Police are not above the law and are required to ensure that they abide by the law and perform their duties as required (Desta, 2013).  This scenario requires an individual to make decisive decisions because of the various ramifications. It is a problem that involves ethics.  I do believe that in this case, I will do exactly what was asked of me. I would not approach lieutenant’s supervisor because, it is not my obligation to do that. This is supported by deontology theory which requires an individual to adhere to his or her obligations and duties, as this is what is considered ethically correct in society. My duty was just to write a report and present it to the authority. Therefore, I do not have that audacity to report this to the lieutenant supervisor.

Writing the report as asked may however have some implications. The report may not portray the real situation in the department and if this is revealed, I may be fired or face a disciplinary panel for not capturing information about the cover-up.  It might be ethically wrong as  explained by the utilitarian theory which agitates that  the choice that has the greatest benefit to most of the people is the choice that is ethically correct and therefore should be selected (Brinks, 2008). Therefore, from this scenario, the disciplinary measures may be advanced on this premise.  It is the duty of the police officers to render services to the public and avoid any misconduct and corruption. Therefore, by concealing this information and refusing to expose it to the lieutenant supervisor, I will have done a injustice to the societies who are required to be served by police officers and those that obey the law.

Approaching the lieutenant supervisor has equally some ramification. This will create a conflict of interest.  My relationship with the lieutenant will be soar. Secondly, the lieutenant supervisor may institute disciplinary measures to the lieutenant for concealing information and perpetrating corruption in the public office. I do believe that my rights should be protected incase this information reaches the lieutenant supervisor. Rights ethical theory requires protection of an individual right as the society endorses them (Catherine, 2012). It is the right of the public to information relating to misconduct and favoritism.  Furthermore, virtues ethical theory judges an individual by his or her characters even if the action may deviate from the normal behaviors, it may be considered unethical by reporting to the lieutenant supervisors but it is morally correct to ensure that such misdeeds and misconducts are not perpetrated.

Therefore, taking action and not taking action in respond to this problem may have implications to my job status, on other parties involved and the community. Reporting the instance to the lieutenant supervisor may lead to disciplinary measures instituted to the lieutenant and his brother who is the major. It may also help reduce misconduct and corruption among other officers. Community will be happy and will learn the need to avoid corruption. On the other hand, not reporting the case may affect my job status especially when the incidence is revealed after submitting the report. I might be implicated in the saga and this might lead to loss of my job.  It is likely that, the information may not be revealed and therefore, the officers will continue serving. However, this will be a disfavor and immoral to the members of the community who require better services from the public servant.





Brinks, D. (2008). The judicial response to killings in Latin America: inequality and the rule of       law. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Catherine, R. (2012). Descriptions of ethical theories and principles. Retrieved from:   

Desta, Y. (2013). Applying a US Police Integrity Measurement Tool to the Eritrean Context:        Perceptions of Top-Level Eritrean Police Officers Regarding Police Misconduct, Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change, 10(3): 238-261.







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