The Necessity of Ethics in Criminal Justice

Erazo Criminal Justice April 15, 2013 Prompt: Give an account of the role of ethics and its significance to the functions of the criminal justice system in America, and describe its impact on crime and social control. The Necessity of Ethics in Criminal Justice The role of ethics is important to the criminal justice system as well as the government because it helps maintains social control and crime control. Over time the role of ethics has adapted in every aspect of the criminal justice system.
Without the role of ethics there would be corruption; the law would have little meaning because its application would be undependable (citation. ) The criminal justice system, which works along with the government, has a great impact of how people treat each other, therefore the role of ethics is not only important for the law but for society as well. Of course there are differences in ethics; depending on certain occupations ones ethics will vary, but the overall role of ethics is to “develop personal qualities such as: courage, honesty, confidentiality, law-abiding behavior reproach and exemplary in nature” (cite 3. It is important for our defense attorneys, police officers, and judges to practice the role of ethics to maintain a stable criminal justice system. It is important to have ethics in the criminal justice system because it prevents corruption, brutality and racial discrimination. Without the role of ethics, the criminal justice system would not be where it’s at today. It abides by the supreme law of the land which falls under the preamble of the constitution which is the Bills of Rights.
The Bill of Rights makes sure to protect every citizen’s rights no matter the gender, race or other discriminatory factors. The criminal justice system holds true to these factors which reduce corruption, brutality and racial discrimination. There would be corruption in the CJS (Criminal Justice System) by police corruption. There would be police corruption by extortion: demanding money for not writing traffic tickets, and bribery: accepting money in exchange for not enforcing the law. Police corruption carries high costs in many ways.

The first way of corruption is that police corruption detracts from the integrity of police authority and tarnishes the image the public view law enforcement. The public expect authorities to be honest and to treat everybody equally. The lack of law enforcement adds on to the increase of crime rates because authority is influencing negative behavior by not stopping crime. Secondly, it protects other criminal activities that deal with prostitution and drugs. The police are being bribed of not enforcing the law by the exchange of money. Criminals offer lucrative sources of income for organized crime.
This means that a criminal would pay a police officer a certain amount of money to let a crime happen and the police would prevent law enforcement regulations upon them. What is usually seen in police corruption is called narcotic corruption. Narcotic corruption is “an inevitable consequence of drug enforcement,” (Cliff Notes-Police Corruption. ) Police officers are being offered either lucrative income or share some of the profit being made from the drugs that are being brought because of the prevention of law enforcement these officers are taking a part of.
Providers of these services and illegal goods use part of their profits to bribe the police in order to ensure the continuation of criminal enterprises. If authority is not giving out the prime example of enforcing the law, what are the expectations of the citizens following them? Police corruption adds on to crimes, therefore following the role of ethics is strictly important to prevent incidents of police corruption to keep happening. The role of ethics makes sure to reduce police corruption if not eliminate it.
To catch the violating officers, the criminal justice system holds special investigation commissions and auditors. Police corruption has been reduced tremendously by teaching officers the role of ethics as well. Another reason why the role of ethics is important to the criminal justice system is because of police brutality. In the year 1982, the federal government funded a study named, “Police Services Study,” in which thirteen percent of 12,000 people interviewed were abused by police brutality.
Studies such as the Police Services Study show that most brutality is pressed against minority groups (Cliff Notes- Police Brutality. ) Police brutality ties in with racial discrimination against minority groups. There is also discrimination against homosexuals that are abused by police officers. When police officers are charged in court for brutality, they claim that they used the contempt of cop and situational variables which means that they attacked the criminal in self defense.
The way that brutality is being prevented is not only by the role of ethics, but also by the internal affairs unit which means that units investigate complaints against officers to see if there is any suspicions of corruption, complains of brutality or other kinds of excessive force. After the police beating of Rodney King in 1991, the inspection general position was established to monitor citizen complaints dealing with police brutality and racial discrimination. What often ties in with police brutality is racial discrimination.
Racial discrimination is mostly aimed towards Hipics and African Americans. A study done in 1994 through 1995 of a group of 90,000 middle school and high school teenagers were surveyed to see how they would turn out to be in the year 2008. The study in 2008 states that the majority of the teenagers that were surveyed in 1994 that were African Americans had higher statistics of being arrested, incarcerated, and received long criminal sentences. The majority of journalism reports stated that, “more than white men, African American men engage in violence—and, on average, their IQs are lower. (Psychology Today. ) The study was more focused on the race of the individual instead of focusing on if the criminal justice system was fair to every single one of these individuals; it was not focused on seeing if the African Americans were discriminated or if they were abused brutality by police officers, instead they focused on their IQ levels and skin color as leading factors to see why African Americans engaged in violence more than the common white man. Criminal Justice cases state that African Americans have faced discrimination since the era of slavery.
Ever since then they have been treated unfairly in every aspect of social factors. African Americans have suffered discrimination because of their skin color. The discrimination of African Americans initially began through the system of slavery, and then continued onto the pattern of segregation as well as legislative decisions that have encouraged discrimination against African Americans. Legislative encouraged discrimination of African Americans by considering Africans as property when they were slaves.
After slaves were free there was still discrimination because government didn’t want to give them their rights. Since then African Americans have been fighting to be equal. Even centuries after the slavery era, African Americans are still being discriminated not only in a social standpoint but in the criminal justice system as well by racial discrimination. The role of ethics tries to teach their police officers to not be judgmental because of a stereotype or skin color.
They try to predict if the accused person is guilty based on evidence instead of gender, race and economic status in cons of if they are a minority group. The role of ethics of course does not only surround itself by making sure there is no corruption, brutality and race discrimination, but also it prides itself in the way they hold their morals in the criminal justice system. There morals are to develop personal qualities such as courage, honesty, confidentiality, and law abiding behavior to everybody involved in the criminal justice system.
The counselors that are involved in the criminal justice system make sure to keep the accused or criminals personal information confidential unless it is a threatening act against another person or a group of people. The reason this ethic is important to the CJS is because if the code of confidentiality is broken, it could not only hurt the person who was betrayed but it also affects the way society views the system. The role of ethics impacts the way people view society.
Even every day people practice the role of ethics; it could be in other areas but they have similar methods. It is crucial that defense attorneys, judges, and police officers abide by the role of ethics. Defense attorneys need to abide by the role of ethics when defending the accused by making sure they don’t give false testimony during their trial; this keeps the CJS fair. Defense attorneys are expected to make sure that the information presented in court is true and that the person speaking against or for the accused is giving true information as well.
Police officers are expected to follow the role of ethics as well by treating all accused and victims by their rights and to not arrest or approach them with brutality or arrest and treat a person unjustly just because of their race. Judges as well are expected to follow the code of ethics by making court decisions based on the information presented and not on racial factors, gender and other factors that could sway a person to be discriminatory against somebody.
The code of ethics is very important in crime and social control because it helps reduce crime by establishing a platform on which authorities follow to ensure that everybody being tried is given an equal trial. When the criminal justice system had not established the code of ethics, African Americans and homosexuals were treated brutally by police officers. Police officers would beat them and sometimes unjustly accuse them of accusing a crime even though they did not do it. As well as judges and cases brought to the justice system, they would discriminate and state that the verdict is guilty.
There were all types of corruption in the criminal justice system starting from the basic authority such as police officers following to defense attorneys and finishing off with judges who are one of the most valued authorities. Even when not dealing with crime, like for example parole officers who deal with juvenile delinquents, they are to enforce what the court says to be followed by the convicted offenders. If they do not enforce the law, the person might reoffend causing more hard due to poor ethics by officers causing more problems for the criminal justice system.
The role of ethics gives every citizen the right to be treated equally when being accused of a crime. It implies that every person would not be treated differently because of a social discriminatory factor therefore keeping the CJS honest and law abiding. Ethics help keep social and crime control mainly through studying ethics because it is possible to define unethical behavior. It is important to have the capacity to point to moral reasoning in justifying behavior, and the study of ethics develops that capacity.
The impact the role of ethics has on the criminal justice system is a positive one for it prides in honesty and law abiding factors; by implying the role of ethics, the public trusts the system more causing less chaos. Works Cited “The American System of Criminal Justice: Innocent Until Proven Guilty. ” The American System of Criminal Justice: Innocent Until Proven Guilty. N. p. , n. d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. http://www. stimmel-law. com/articles/criminaljustice_us. html “Criminal Justice: Police Corruption. ” Criminal Justice: Police Corruption. N. p. , n. d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. ttp://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/Police-Corruption. topicArticleId-10065,articleId-9979. html “Criminal Justice: Police Brutality. ” Criminal Justice: Police Brutality. N. p. , n. d. Web. Spring 2013. http://www. cliffsnotes. com/study_guide/Police-Brutality. topicArticleId-10065,articleId-9975. html “No Discrimination… | Facebook. ” No Discrimination… | Facebook. N. p. , n. d. Web. Aug. 2012. http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/the-bejeezus-out-me/201303/no-discrimination-in-the-criminal-justice-system “The Importance of Ethics in Criminal Justice. ” N. p. , n. d. Web.

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