Ethics in Law Enforcement

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Part 1: Assume you are a prison counselor with a good working relationship with the other counselors. Occasionally, you all go out drinking together after work, and you like and respect everyone you work with.

Recently, you notice that something seems to be going on with one of the other counselors. Stella is usually quite outgoing and cheerful, but lately she seems distracted and upset. You see her in the parking lot one evening, and ask her what the matter is. She confides to you that she is in love with an inmate.

She knows it is wrong, but says that they had instant chemistry, and that he is like no other man she has ever known. She has been slipping him love notes, and he has been writing her. You tell her that she has to stop it, or else quit her job. She tearfully tells you that she cannot let him go, that she needs her job, and that you must keep quiet, or you will get her fired.


Based on the scenario described, address the following in your main post:

  • Describe the moral and ethical issues involved in this scenario.
  • Decide the steps you would or would not take as a prison counselor and the rationale for your decisions.
  • Determine whether you would contact anyone about the potential relationship with an inmate, and if so, who.
  • Evaluate the ethical implications of your action or inaction as a criminal justice professional.

Part 2: Assume you are working as a part-time corrections officer at the county jail, while working your way through college. Actually, you hate the job, partly because of the inmates, but partly because of the other officers. Many of them enjoy and abuse their power. You try to stay out of the way of the most vocal ones, but one day you hear one of them castigate an African-American inmate for not sweeping properly. He utters a number of racial epithets and pushes the inmate around. You can see that the inmate is tense and ready to fight.


Consider the scenario above and address the following in your main post:

  • Articulate the rationale for the steps you would or would not take in approaching this ethical issue, based on applicable ethical systems.
  • Explain your own ethical system, based on human rights standards and their ethical implications.
  • Assess whether your personal biases may affect your ethical approach to this dilemma.

If using any online sources, please list the web address in the reference. (200-250 words each part)

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