Term Paper: Ethical Considerations and Professional Responsibility in a Criminal Justice Agency

Pages: 12 (4201 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice  ·  Buy This Paper

Ethical Considerations and Professional Responsibility in a Criminal Justice Agency

Owing to the distinguishable contribution of police officers in any given society, a number of professionals working in the field of criminology and sociology have emphasized the significance of comprehending the duties of a police officer. Going by this tradition, the respective analysis challenges the behavioural actions and moral obligations of the police officer. Most importantly, the objective of the respective study is to assess and bring together the present level of information present in the research related to the culture and ethics of police. Paoline (2004) carried out the most recent research in the topic of police culture and highlighted for officers, seven typologies that can be used as a viable support for the research conducted on the institution and strategies of policing. Studies related to police culture have widened and grown further by bringing together the relevant information from the field of police ethics. One anticipation form this particular study is that a stable trend of ethical reactions, in accordance with the typology of the officers will be integrated to expand the present level of existing knowledge based around the research on police culture (Mason, 2010).

The study of policing is multidimensional. The respective analysis in this study, nevertheless, emphasizes and centres on the facets of research on policy that could impact the attitudes and behaviour of police officers. More importantly, factors like workplace anxiety, the culture of police, social networks, media depiction, press coverage, and the perceptions of the public as well as job satisfaction are considered and taken into account while identifying their impact on the attitudes and performance of the police officers (Mason, 2010).

Even more so, the research present on police ethics will also be evaluated and assessed for further consideration.

The belief is that the aforementioned factors have the power to considerably impact the attitudes and behaviour of the police officers and ultimately, their reactions to the prompts of ethics and typology. If one is to comprehend and bring together the research on ethics and typology, then having an insight of the factors related to the study and which could affect the outcomes is essential (Mason, 2010).

The research on police culture is particularly emphasized because of its significant role and effect on the officers. Even more so, this paper will assess and build upon the research on police culture to integrate the police ethics research and information. The culture existent in police departments can have considerable influence on the attitudes of police officers. Thus it is essential to identify if the ethical standpoints and perspectives of the police officers differ as per the types of officers. This is the only way the attitudes of officers can be entirely assessed and comprehended (Mason, 2010).

The typologies present in police culture, as Paoline (2004) has highlighted, are thought to be the best way forward for the police officers. Thus, certain differences may exist between the information found at the personal level which implies that the officers may not exactly adhere to the characteristics of the ethics typology to the one they are labelled against (Mason, 2010).

In fact, the characteristics of the ideal typology make possible for certain differences to exist between each officer even while appropriately identifying mutual attributes and behaviour between the officers of a certain type. Even though, some differences may be found in people if they are gauged against the characterization of the ideal type, the respective typology still makes it possible to predict the attributes and traits of a certain officer in an ethics typology quite accurately. Even more so, the study of the typologies amongst police officers makes it possible for researchers to base their study on an enduring research and enables them to progress in the field of policing research (Mason, 2010).

The respective analysis of policing as an institution entails a number of objectives related to its research. Some of the objectives of the current analysis entail expanding upon and widening the present level of knowledge about the ethics and culture of the police and to gain a greater insight about the number of factors that include aspects like press coverage of the police, job satisfaction, anxiety, public perception and etc. (Mason, 2010). More importantly, nevertheless, the objective of the current analysis is to address the questions given below:


Are differences present within the reactions of the officer to the cultural factors of police of perspectives with respect to the policies, selective implementation, supervisors, people and tactics that are aggressive?


If cultural variation is depicted, does the Paoline's (2004) study of typology offer any support?


Is the response of police offers to ethical queries homogeneous or do they vary?


If differences are present, how does the study of Paoline (2004) talk about responses to considered ethical scenarios? Thus, is there a trend present that can be distinguished from the typological responses in the police officers when it comes to ethical situations?


In order to gain an insight about the behaviour and ethical standpoint of the police officers, it becomes essential to comprehend the factors that would have an impact on them. Kingshott, Bailey and Wolfe (2004)'s entitlement theory offers a meaningful way of comprehending how the police culture manifests and how it continues to expand and endure. The theory can be described as of one being concerned attachment (Mason, 2010).

As per the entitlement theory, individuals learn not to show beliefs or notions that are unacceptable in order to remain close to the people around them, thereby maintaining attachment. By doing so, people may end up compromising their original self by depicting only a side of themselves that is acceptable and that is, not entirely true to reality. Thus, if the level of attachment individuals desire to form in their lifetime is considered, a sense of entitlement also comes on the surface along with it (Mason, 2010).

When the sense of entitlement is developed, a person can feel under-entitled that entails the individual thinking that the person has no job or duty of caring for other people and hence no ethical obligations to them. This individual is likely to look at the world as a dangerous place to be in and without any nobleness, morals and benevolence. The result of the predicament is that the person only feels connected with other people if he or she is serving them or in other extreme, the person gets lost in his or her self by ignoring the people around, thereby creating over-entitlement in the respective person's personality (Mason, 2010).

According to Kingshott et al. (2004), the culture of police fosters an environment that leads to over-entitlement via the interactions, situations and the training provided to the police officers (Kingshott et al., 2004). As has been mentioned, over-entitlement is promoted by training which encourages a militaristic type of humiliation without any ethical or moral principles to humanity or human connection (Conti, 2009; Kingshott et al., 2004).

When the police officers are made to undergo trainings that are militaristic in nature, they try to forge power relationships with people around them, such as their children, spouses or even the community in general (Kingshott et al., 2004) thereby giving rise to the level of anxiety, irritation, mental and physical health concerns etc. Other factors that can influence the officers' ethical standings include press, work anxiety, job satisfaction, culture, perception of people etc. If there is an adverse impact on the performance of the police officer, he or she may find his or her ethics to be affected as well. In an extreme scenario, the objectivity and efficiency of police officers might be compromised (Mason, 2010).

The position of policing has been maintained in the realm of scholarly research throughout the years. In reality, it has been widened and grown over the past number of years. This expansion is significant for a number of factors. Firstly, this is because police officers have a separately identifiable part to play in the society. They are expected to resolve a crime and also have the legal power to make use of force. Thus, it is significant to comprehend the attitudes and demeanours of officers employed in the police force. Even more so, it's essential to gain an insight about the surrounding and setting within which the officers carry out their work as the environment of the workplace has considerable impact on the workplace performance of the police officers. The behaviour, ethical standing and effectiveness of the police officers get affected when the environments of the workplace is not up to the standards. It is only by means of continued study in the field of policy can this important system be considering enhanced (Mason, 2010).

Reasoned analysis

As per Dowler and Zawilski (2007), the major chunk of public information related to justice and crime is taken from consumption of media (p.193). Cultural as well as ethical ideologies and messages are also reported to be passed through media sources (Dowler & Zawilski,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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