Leadership Skills for Criminal Justice Essay

Pages: 3 (1061 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice


As for moral agility, this entails having the talent for being able to differentiate between different shades of moral choice. That is, moral agility is based on being able to put to good use "…intelligence, maturity, flexibility, and the ability to make analytical distinctions when distinctions are hardly visible" (Souryal, 207). In other words, criminal justice leaders are expected to act wisely on every occasion. Theirs is a culture of virtue vis-a-vis "liberty and justice" and "honesty and fidelity" -- and they must lead through "decency and social righteousness" (Souryal, 207).

Professor Kevin N. Wright of the State University of New York (Binghamton) believes that part of the problem when criminal justice professionals use unethical strategies is simply due to "…the fallibility of human beings" (Wright, 1999). Moreover, the very nature of criminal justice work "may heighten the forces to act inappropriately," Wright explains. Law enforcement officers see the public "at our worst," and eventually the officers form perceptions about people and that provides the officers with "fertile ground…to overstep ethical limits" (Wright, 67).

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In order for criminal justice leadership to prevent ethical lapses and focus on virtuous behaviors, Wright says the CEO (or commander) has to "talk about ethics…[and] the CEO has to be consistent" and be willing to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. In other words, leaders can't just hold staff accountable then become a heavy drinker, or philanderer, and accept gifts from parties that want to have influence within the department (Wright, 68).

TOPIC: Essay on Leadership Skills for Criminal Justice Assignment

Professor Julian V. Roberts of Oxford University writes that without public confidence in the ethical behavior of the criminal justice system, a crisis develops. And Roberts asserts that in the United States, there is currently a crisis of confidence in the criminal justice system. He references a survey taken in 2007 in which "…more than four out of five respondents favoured the idea of 'totally revamping the way that the [criminal justice] system works'" (Roberts, 2007, p. 154). It would be hard to present a more obvious statistic showing a lack of confidence in the ethical integrity of America's criminal justice system. Clearly there is a need for an upgrade in this system, since if the public lacks confidence in the system, they do not feel protected.

In conclusion, leadership is far more than being boss or being in charge. Leadership -- in this case, in the criminal justice system -- is based on others believing that the leader is honest and just and can be depended upon for consistency and competence. Ethical considerations are a big part of leadership, and this paper points out that ethics is not just a skill that a leader can obtain, it is a philosophy based on virtue and doing the right thing for the community that is being served.

Works Cited

Carpenter, Michael J., and Fulton, Roger. (2007). A Practical Career Guide for Criminal

Justice Professionals. Flushing, NY: Looseleaf Law Publications.

Roberts, Julian V. (2007). Public Confidence in Criminal Justice in Canada: A Comparative and Contextual Analysis. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 49(2), 153-184.

Souryal, Sam S. (2010). Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth. Atlanta, GA:… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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