Recent Post

October 22, 2014

Ethics in Criminal Justice

Individual Rights and public protection
Law enforcement agencies’ primary goal is to establish order and peace and this process is more often than not complicated by measure of factors which seem to be unmatched to each situation officers must deal with, rather by means of quelling a riot or arresting a suspect. It is crystal clear that in some situations, it is indispensible for officers to use force during their duties, during giving protection to the citizen or during arrest and also rest of the officers from any harm (Braga, 2002). The preventive measures are taken by law enforcement departments to ensure the condition of peace in the society (Feeley & Sarat, 112).
Protection of persons is ensured in the context of a society by the legal status of individuals defined by the national and international law. The protection of individuals lies at the meeting point between individual rights and the constraints and public safety. For this reason, the national legal status of people is reinforced by various elements of law giving specific rights to individuals in times of trouble or conflict. It is dangerous to confuse protection and physical security. Only public entities with the use of force can ensure the safety of individuals. The law does not provide a legal protection status. This means that how the force or coercion can be used against individuals and organizes practical ways to defend these rights. Humanitarian agencies cannot physically intervene to ensure the safety of people at risk, but they may contribute to legal protection compliance provided for the benefit of endangered populations by international humanitarian law.
Role of Rewards and Punishment
United States has much higher crime rate than Japan, Saudi Arabia and China. There are two reasons for that. First United States lacks the shared traditions of those societies that encourage citizens to continuously scrutinize and informally impose sanctions on one another. Secondly, because of United States tremendous cultural diversity, its socialization process cannot impose the same value system on everyone. So short of trying to entirely reshape American culture, one can only hope to discover formal, external controls that might help to deal more effectively with crime.
Humans tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain, and well step outside normative boundaries to do so. Early researchers found that certainty, not severity, of threatened punishment serves to deter. Later researcher described that interaction of formal and informal sanctions are the key to the puzzle.  What is the basic purpose of punishment? According to Professor Hart “the ultimate justification of any punishment is not that it is deterrent but that it is the emphatic denunciation by the community of a crime” (Hart, 1966, p. 65). In other words, legal punishment like arrest and jail are most effective when they set off more intimidating informal costs: stigma (embarrassment); attachment costs (loss of relationship); and commitment costs like loss of educational, occupational, and marital opportunities (William & Hawkins, 1986). Thus such factors as employment and marital status can help determine whether formal sanction will deter bullying (Berk et al., 1992). Deterrence, only works with people who have something to lose in the reverberation of informal sanctions (Toby, 1957).
Use of Immoral Means
When a force officer is faced with a situation where he finds the use of immoral means necessary, he must not lose sight of guarding public safety and that of the institution.The primordial goal in the execution of force in law enforcement, it used in order to restraint in its use.
For example, it could not be reasonable to make use of less-than-lethal projectiles in the wake of a failure to follow a first-time command on a minimum-security prisoner. It is unquestionable that when force is used according to law and it is properly utilized it implies a non ignorable element to set an order in the society. Each state is responsible to regulate the law enforcement agencies by means of a governing body. Its work to endorse that members, belong to the law enforcement community are capable in their knowledge as well as in application of law enforcement agencies for the purpose of public safety.
A productive use-of force policy is supposed to elaborate its goal and philosophy. The policy should underline rationality as its core both in content and the use of force or in the perception or threat. The acceptance of some mechanical rules in connection with the use of force must be kept in side for, every circumstance has its unparallel and reasonableness that is key of the totality of situations. The policy should deal with the two justifications to make use of force: a peril to officers or to effect seizures of non-threatening subjects.
It is very important that police point out considerations to determine rationality and incorporate instances of what causes a threat. A policy should consist of a discussion of fatal and no fatal force applications. Through, an unsystematic presentation of force means. This is ideal that the key stone of the policy should be peril assessment not a growing approach or a force range. The escalating out comes should be given weigh when forming seizures of individual helped to be non threatening but it had better not be the base of a force policy.
It is fact that the use of force is a way of life in every correctional situation because the force arrives in changing degrees of restraint and transgresses the professional disciplines in form of its function. The forces hold negative form of connotation and are often the part and parcel of the physical power or aggression to achieve its target. If done incorrectly, the forces take a soaring price from people who are involved by expensive litigation, sham and guilt in the court of people view. In return the law enforcement agencies have formed compulsory norms and specific policies for its use.
Ethical Decision Making
The theory of bounded rationality considers decision process as a social interaction that takes place gradually in time. During this process multiple rationalities overlap. Multiple actors, strategically interconnected but relatively autonomous and differing objectives, participate in the construction of the decision. Each of them receives imperfect information and must, decide to settle for an approximate knowledge of the facts of the situation. Thus, the optimal solution does not exist. These new ways to analyze the decision-making process must also be linked with the advent of constructivist perspectives that are easily transferable to criminal justice.
Any offense is the result of a social construction whose logic must be included in the daily work of the law enforcement activity. Using this theoretical framework will be considered if criminal decisions obey a set of constraints for ensuring the stability and predictability, cognitive processes, moral, or emotional, introduce elements of variability in the criminal sentencing. Sake of clarity requires dissociate the presentation. But in reality the scope of the decision is at the heart of this dialectic which sees institutional meet the demands of a collective order to cultivate and individual requirements, producers of disorder, an identity assertion. Thus, for example, the current emphasis on managerial pressures of judicial practices, which we can think it helps to standardize criminal matters, nourishes opposite reactions of defense identity.
Criminal decision is always presented as a revealed truth but never for what it is, a craft between logical discordant permanent tensions between antagonistic poles. Because any decision is actually collective result of a social process involving multiple actors, more or less independent of one another, differing objectives even conflicting, with only partial knowledge of the situation and reasoning sequentially (Dixon, 1995). The rationality of decisions should not be sought by reference to abstract goals such as external meaning of the sentence or the social function of the judiciary. This is an internal rationality that is, dependent modes of organization and procedural judicial activities and more or less bureaucratic system. It is conceivable therefore that the concept of good decision has no meaning outside of a social internal grid workflow. From an ethical perspective decisions capable of achieving a minimum level of satisfaction.

Berk, Richard A., Alec Cambell, Ruth Klap & Bruce Western (1992). The deterrent effect of
arrest in incidents of domestic violence: A Bayesian analysis of four field experiments. American Sociological Review, 57.
Braga, Anthony A. (2002). Problem-Oriented Policing and Crime Prevention. Monsey, New
York: Criminal Justice Press
Dixon, J. (1995). The organizational context of criminal sentencing.  American Journal of
Sociology, 100, 5, 1157-1198
Feeley, Malcolm, M & Sarat, Austin, D. (1987). The Policy Dilemma: Federal Crime Policy
and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, 1968-1978. University of Minnesota Pr.
Hart, L. A. (1966). Law, Liberty and Morality. London, Oxford University Press
Toby, Jackson (1957). Social Disorganization and stake in conformity: Complimentary factors in
the predatory behavior of hoodlums. Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology and Police Science, 48.
William, Kirk & Hawkins, Richard (1986). Perceptual Research on general deterrent: A critical
review. Law and Society Review, 20.


Post a Comment