Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of Criminal Justice
Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of Criminal Justice
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Date Created: 04/09/16
Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of CRJ 03.05.2015 Question: Identify and discuss three ethical issues in the juvenile justice system. How have they been addressed? The families, society and the police departments make its best effort to prevent crime. Especially, they try to keep the kids away from committing crime so that they don’t have to enter the juvenile justice system. Despite all these efforts, kids always get involved in crime; hence, they enter into the juvenile justice system where they have to face incarceration, mandatory probation hours etc. The main reason of putting them behind the bars is to teach discipline and scare them from committing any further crime. However, federal reports have shown, putting troubled kids into more punitive situation can cause them to commit more crime and ruins all the opportunity to learn new skills and ways of behaving that are more positive. The society and the juvenile justice system should make more efforts in preventing crime before the kids enters the juvenile justice system so that they have a better chance of leading a successful life. According to federal reports, a very few juveniles go towards a healthy successful life after finishing their sentence and twothirds of them are more likely to come back within three to five years period. In this case, the juvenile justice system is failing to accomplish the primary reason they are created for which is to make sure that the juveniles don’t come back to doing crimes and start leading a more disciplined life. The critics and authors have argued that it is ethically wrong to put kids around 1619 ages in punitive situation because they are causing more harm instead of causing anything better. The president and CEO of the Atlantabased Southern Education Foundation, Kent McGuire argued that they are still kinds. Even though they have committed crime they deserve to be taught what is right and not put in more severe situation like long term incarceration and social isolation (Morones, 1). Thus, it is a mutual concern that the juvenile justice system should enforce more academic curriculum for the juveniles and not put them in more punitive situations for their betterment. One of the most alarming and concerning question raises when the federal report shows a very high percentage of African American and Hispanic juveniles behind the bars but very low portion of white juveniles. According to the federal report, “on any given day, 70,000 students are in custody in juvenilejustice systems across the country. Nearly, twothirds of those young people are either African American or Hispanic, and an even higher percentage are male.” (Morones, 1). Another author, Florencio Ramirez stated that under his jurisdiction, about 95 percent juveniles are either AfricanAmerican or Hispanic. He questions to the readers, does this mean that the other races are not committing crime? Especially white population are one of the rarest population that has been seen behind the bars. However, this does not conclude that they are not committing crime in the society. It is pretty visible that there is racial disparities among the society and the juvenile justice system. Even if when the white population enters the juvenile justice system, they tend to get away with their crime and not face any punitive action because of their privilege. It is highly unethical to have racial disparities among the system because it tend to hurt the society in large. Ramirez tells his readers, “Reducing racial disparities requires specific strategies aimed at eliminating bias and ensuring a level playing field for youth of color” (Ramirez, 2). To make it safe and fair for everybody in the society and the juvenile system, it is required to have a nonbiased look towards this. Another ethical issue that the kids in juvenile system tend to face is lack of education and help with learning and developing social skills. Kids that tend to drop out from high school or middle school tend to go towards crime more than the kids who is regular at their schools. These kids need special help in getting back to their track so that they can start going to school again and prevent themselves from committing any further crimes. However, proper education system is not available at the juvenile justice system. Several authors and critics suggested that the juvenile justice system lacks coordination between learning and teaching during a student’s stay, and inconsistency in curricula (Morones, 1). The federal report suggests students made very little academic progress while they were under juvenile justice system. Kids that enters this system are usually with mental issues and poor learning skills. They should not be treated as regular kids. Hence, their academic curricula is supposed to be modified and different from regular student’s curricula. Many juvenile justice system workers don’t understand the severity and thus they kept doing the process years after years. Now, light had been brought up to this situation and several essential steps are needed to be takes in order to solve this injustice. Kids that enter the system with poor social skills, a little or no learning skill and poor mental health have to be taken in special consideration and set up essential help group to support them and help them to succeed in life. The juvenile justice system’s goal should be to make these kids life better, not worse than what it was before. Adults and the children were basically treated the same under the justice system until the twentieth century. After that, two different justice systems were established to make the children’s life a better place and prevent them from committing any further crime. Even they there were two different systems and policies for adults and kids, they still lacked numerous ethical and important aspects of a justice system. After writing on article and seeing the federal reports, many states and counties decided to modify their system in order to prevent crimes in a better way and help the kids more than they have ever done. Reports have shown, the less children drop out from school or college is the less people joins the juvenile justice system every year. Hence, several states started establishing more discipline in schools to lower down the drop out number. Georgia was successful in lowering down that number by 44 percentage which helped them to lower down the crime percentage of the whole entire year. Since 2010, every states have been working on removing racial disparities from every system under resolving crime. Especially the southern states have been decreased the rate of racism in juvenile justice system. To improve the educations system under juvenile justice system, officers have changed their curricula and started to pay extra attention towards the mentally disabled kids and the kids with poor social skills; so that they can go back to school after their sentences and lead a better life with their friends and families. Work cited: Alyssa Morones (2014). JuvenileJustice System Not Meeting Educational Need, Report says. Education Week.com Florenceio Ramirez (2008). Juvenile Delinquency. AmericanBar.org Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of CRJ 03.18.2015 Question: Thinking about ‘corrections’ its purposes and ethical drawbacks identify and discuss some ethical issues in corrections and efforts to address them. Corrections is one of the most important part of the criminal justice system. Every system is associated with various different issues. When it comes to correction issues, people tend to talk about the problems with budget and healthcare rather than talking about the ethical aspect of it. However, there are several ethical issues related with corrections system that needs to be looked at and fixed at everyone’s earliest concern. There are several ethical problems that authors, critics or officers have pointed out in last couple years. This paper will focus on three main ethical issues regarding the correction system and what step are taken as well as needs to be taken in order to eradicate them. The three main ethical issues are inmate mental health, prison privatization and prison or corrections stuff ethics. Every prison in United States fills their lockers with inmates with mental issues. Putting inmates with mental issue in traditional prisons is hardly a new news. This has been going on since decades and people finally decided to change it in last couple years. The writer Robert Winters (2013) wrote in his article ‘Examining Two Fundamental Ethical Issues in U.S. Corrections’ that, “Today about 10 percent of the national offender population can be characterized as having a “serious” mental illness, and about 20 percent have some form of antisocial personality disorder as defined by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)” (p.2). The criminal justice system used to put a large number of mentally ill inmates because they didn’t realize the important of treating them. Treating those patients is more expensive than putting them behind traditional lockers and fulfilling their quota. Hence, no actions were taken in order to change this unfairness for several years. But what they didn’t understand was, if they put them in traditional jails and don’t take care of them they will end up staying there for a longer time than the other inmates. Studies say that these ill inmates stays in prison 5 times longer than the other inmates. Which will cause in spending more money on them anyway. So why not build centers or organizations that will take care of them in the first place and help them to get better. The next main ethical issue of the correction system is prison privatization. The government collects a certain amount of tax from all the citizens for the correction system. Therefore, there’s a quota of inmates that need to be fulfilled every year to collect that required money from citizens. This means, the law enforcement has to put people in jail regardless they are guilty or not to reach a certain number. This is highly unethical because inmates might not deserve all those punishment but they would still have to because the system requires them to. Every year people see cases after cases where inmates don’t get fair trial and get locked up behind the bars for several years for no reason. The congress has created this law; hence, the congress enforces every sector of criminal justice system to fulfil this quota without thinking what the prisoners might have to go through. It is not only unfair for the prisoners, but also unfair for the taxpayers that are working so hard to raise all these money but giving it away because the law requires them to do so. The congress should take a better look at it and either lower the quota number or get rid of this whole quota system so save money and people’s life. The last but not the least issue of the correction system is correction stuff ethics. It is debatable that every stuff at prisons or correction office works as honestly as possible every day. The correction or prison officers have quotas to fulfil; which is one of the main reasons why sometimes they put people in the system who don’t deserve. Correction officers can’t let people get out of the programs because they have to hold them coming back. In this scenarios, the system doesn’t care if people are guilty, guilty enough to serve long term prison sentence or if they are succeeding in life after getting out of the system. As a result, it is difficult for the officers too to be fair to everyone and make sure that everyone gets their fair share in every section of the criminal justice system. These officers often don’t get paid enough to deal with all these troubles every day. Often it gets hectic too because they deal with all kinds of dangerous criminals in office or outside of office. They put their own life in risk to solve other criminals’ lives. As a result, some officers tend to not complete their duties honestly. Often they get discouraged too when they see criminals not getting better in the society. They think, there is no hope for them, so why even bother. These are some of the reasons why correction or prison officers get distracted or discouraged at their jobs to do it with full honesty and fairness. All these ethical issues mentioned above were neglected for several years. However, the criminal justice system has finally looked at them and trying to take proper steps to eradicate all these issues from the society. Several counties in United States are building health center where they take care of the mentally ill inmates. Proper care have been provided in those centers so that they can get better soon and the system can move them to either the traditional jail or can let them go to the society. Instead of wasting billions and billions of money on those ill inmates, the system is taking the right step by treating them well. Prison quota system has been in society for a long time and many writers have been writing about it and prosecutors have been debating about it so that the criminal justice system can get rid of it. Every action serves some positive and some negative service. This quota system is not different either; as a result, the society might not be able to get rid of it entirely, but they are working on making everything fairer than it has been so far. If the government get rid of the quota system, it will make a large impact on making the correction officers life ten times easier. They wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the inmates in and they would be able to help out everyone if they want to. Also increasing their payment would help the situation in several ways too. Each year the counties are putting more and more money towards the correction system to help the society. If things keep going in such rate, people of this society can finally hope to get a better correction system. Work Cited: Robert Winter (2013). Examining Two Fundamental Ethical Issues in U.S. Corrections. Retrieved from http://www.corrections.com/news/article/32769examiningtwofundamentalethicalissuesinu scorrections Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of CRJ 03.26.2015 Question: Interrogation is an integral part of law enforcement; however, they are some ethical issues that must be recognized. Identify and discuss three ethical issues. Police department often brings eye witnesses or suspects to their office to question in order to reach the bottom of every case. This process is known as interrogation system in law enforcement. It has been an integral part of the case solving process and helped the law enforcement plethora of times. However, interrogation has been raised several ethical question in last couple years. It is evident that the law enforcement has been breaking the code of ethics and crossing the line in order to have their suspects to spill secrets. The question is, is it morally okay for police officers to cross this line to save the nation? Or should they stop even if it might cost the nation a huge damage? This paper will focus on three main ethical questions that have been arose by the law makers regarding the interrogation process. The first issue is breaking the “Do No Harm” rule. United States has pledged not to punish anyone to get information, they don’t haze, period. However, for having ‘time clicking’ circumstances, police officers were often forced to break this rule. The second ethical issue is questioning someone indirectly, such as, lying to them or tricking them in order to spill the answers. This tactic has helped the police department in solving many cases, but there has been incidents where innocent people were forced to claim guilty because there was no way out. The last but not the least is being sexually harassed or seduced by a police officer or detective in order to gain some information. All these may help the law enforcement to solve crimes, but they also might be ethically wrong or those to be keep doing. The first ethical issue regarding interrogation is punishing people in order to spill information. According to the code of ethics, police officers cannot torture and punish anyone to get any information from them. For example, if someone is under police’s custody, they have to be fed and put in a comfortable situation when he/she is being asked questions. Police officers cannot make them suffer by not giving food and torture them with anything while those people are under their custody. However, police officers have broken this code of ethics numerous times when its life and death situation. In these ‘clock ticking moment’ they have to apply certain kinds of torture in order to solve or stop any crime. One of this tactics used by the police department is called ‘waterboarding’ which is a kind of torture but nearly not as bad as electric shock or putting up for starvation. Polices usually use them only when they know the nation is under attack and they think they are doing this for the best of everyone. The question is, is it still ethical to torture those people that are being interrogated for the sake of saving the nation. The author Paul Lauritzen mentions in his book “The Ethics of Interrogation” that it is a tough situation for the law enforcement officers to decide what’s ethically right and what needs to be done at that certain time. Officers tend to choose the fastest tactic, which is scare them or make them uneasy to tell the officers what they know; which is without a doubt a breakage of the ‘Do No Harm’ rule. Another tactic that police officers apply to avoid punishing is to investigate ‘indirectly’; which means officers will either lie or beat around the bush to confuse the person in custody to get information out of them. These type of incidents kept happening throughout the history of crime investigation. Police department always either denied or refused to talk about it. Recently in a conference, Edward Ohlbaum shared a story when he was working as a public defendant for a case in 1979. The defendant had confessed to a robbery because he failed a polygraph test. But later they found out, the police department didn’t use any legit polygraph machine. Instead, they faked it and defendant had absolutely no idea about it. They solved the case; but the question was either the tactic was fair to the defendant or not. Because often people confess to thing they didn’t do because of being under pressure. If police officers keep a possible terrorist and scare him to deport his family or harm them, he might spill the truth about terrorism or confess because he doesn’t want his family to be harmed. This situation can go both ways. It is kind of hard to say when an officer is making the right move and when he’s not by tricking someone. The person under investigation might lie too while held in custody if he’s being tricked by the police. That will only cause harm to the case rather than solving it. Officers argue that tricking them helps than jeopardize it for the majority of the time. But the question is, is it fair to the other person or not? Is it helping the officers in solving crime or it is putting someone else’s life in danger? Women getting sexually harassed or seduced by men is not a new news to anyone. Women have to face such things in every sphere of the society. The criminal justice system is no different. When women have to go through the system, there is a high risk of getting sexually harassed at some point; either it is in prison or in interrogation room. As men are more dominant and intimidated looking, they can easily scare women while they are in the system to get any information out of them. Some police officers not only intimidate them with their masculinity but also try to harm them while being on the criminal justice system. There has been several cases where women have reported being sexually harassed by the police department; such as, Anita Hill in 1991 who was sexually harassed and humiliated by a Supreme Court officer. She was a young law professor who was questioned and humiliated while she was being interrogated. Another tactic that officers use to get information from a female suspect is to seduce them. Polices officers always have CA’s who provide them information; but some tend to engage with their CA’s in a romantic way to get more benefitted. One of the popular television shows, Dexter covers a similar story where a detective cheats on his wife with one of CAs’ and takes advantage of her which eventually costs her life. This incident is nothing new, male police officers have been taking advantage of female suspects for ages and there is no way anyone can see it to be ethical. It is highly unethical to be sexually harassed or used in any way even if it helps the officers to solve the crime. It is everyone’s right that comes first, and then solving any crime. Work Cited: Peter Wehner (2009). Morality and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Commentary Web Exclusive. Emilia McKee (2012). The Use of Deception and Other Ethical Implications in Interrogation Methods. Temple Law Review. Ethical and Philosophical Foundation of CRJ Final Exam There are 7 elements of crime- harm, severity, legality, mens rea, actus reas, causation, concurrence, punishment. 3 agencies of criminal justice system- police, court, correction. Two models of criminal justice system- crime control model and due process model. Correction in US in considered as ‘rehabilitation’. Truth sentencing- Enacted in 1984, you have to serve at least 80% of your time. Branches of government- legislature, judicial, executive. Rule of law- “no one is above the law” There are 100 senators and 435 House of Representatives. Two types of ‘writs’- habes corpus and social Diversion is built on labeling theory. 2 sources of international human rights- customary law and treaty law Sentencing that counts as cruel punishment- intermediate sentencing First three words of the constitution – “we the people” First ten amendments are called the ‘bill of rights’ How many amendments does the constitution have- 27 Congress has two parts: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The supreme law of the land- the constitution. Highest court of US- Supreme court John Glover Roberts Jr. Law clerk: A law clerk or a judicial clerk is a person who provides assistance to a judge in researching issues before the court and in writing opinions. Brief: A written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should prevail. Writ of Certiorari: A type of writ, meant for rare use, by which an appellate court decides to review a case at its discretion. Writ of habeas corpus: A writ of habeas corpus is used to bring a prisoner or other detainee (e.g. institutionalized mental patient) before the court to determine if the person's imprisonment or detention is lawful. Rule of four: In order to make a decision, four justices have to say ‘yes’. Two main ethical issues for lawyers- the lecture and prepping witnesses. Statistical backdrop of the immigration in US- 1910 – 1930 – steady growth of immigrant population; 1940 – 1970 – saw a decrease in numbers; 1980 – 2010 - increase was evident; by 2010 – the immigrant share of the population was 13%, a significant increase from 5% in 1970. Primary states where immigrants moved in- California, Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, and New York. Strain theory for immigration- “The American Dream” Diversion: occurs before trial. Probation: occurs after a person has been convicted. Goal of diversion: Reduce recidivism through rehabilitation. Diversion programs: Drug courts, domestic violence, community, and mental health courts. Shaming – temporary but labeling- permanent Two ways of using diversion: Unconditional diversion and Conditional diversion. 3 stages of the drug court: Detoxication, stabilization, and after care. 3 brunches of theory: applied, normative, meta Country of origin variables: GDP, homicide rate, world governance, and religion. Assimilation paths of immigration- straight line and downward assimilation
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