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Determining and Making Ethical Decisions in Criminal Justice

Determining and Making Ethical Decisions in Criminal Justice

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Determining and Making Ethical Decisions in Criminal Justice

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  1. Determining and Making Ethical Decisions in Criminal Justice T. Curwen

  2. Determining Moral Behaviour Outline • Ethical systems • Relativism and Absolutism • Toward a resolution: Situational Ethics • Resulting concerns

  3. To analyse dilemmas consistently 4 steps to analyze ethical dilemmas • Identify the facts • Identify relevant values and concepts • Identify possible choices • Analyse the choices under an ethical system

  4. Ethical dilemma condoms in prisons • You are the administrator of a correctional facility. The government has recently authorized the trial use of condoms in correctional centres. • However, one of your officers approaches you to complain that the provision of condoms (particularly for use in homosexual acts) is against his most fundamental religious beliefs and that he will refuse to carry out any order to do with their provision, supervision, or use. This will include a refusal to stock the vending machine. SJ ethics centre

  5. What is your decision as an administrator

  6. Ethical System Moral Rules Moral Judgment

  7. Ethical systems • What is an ethical system • source of moral behaviour • underlying premise from which you make decisions • beyond argument

  8. Requirements of an ethical system • Internally consistent • Consistent • “moral common sense”

  9. Stealing food to feed his child • Stealing food to feed his pigeons • Stealing food to sell it for drug money

  10. What is the ethical system that your moral judgments are based in?

  11. Ethical Systems • Deontological ethical systems • Teleological Systems

  12. Deontological systems • Ethical formalism • Judge motive or intent to determine moral behaviours • This is an absolute system • problems Ethical Formalism?

  13. Utilitarianism • Teleological system • Act utilitarianism • Rule utilitarianism

  14. Is it moral or immoral to throw rocks from bridges? Act Utilitarianism Rule Utilitarianism Ethical Formalism

  15. Ethical Formalism vs. Utilitarianism OF MICE AND MEN - Steinbeck • Sunday afternoon. While the rest play horseshoes, Lenny kills his puppy in the barn. • Curley's wife shows up. • Lennie explains his fondness for soft things, and she encourages him to stroke her hair. • When she wants him to stop he breaks her neck out of fear. • Candy finds her and brings George. When the men find out Curley goes for his shotgun. • Carlson goes for his gun, but it's missing and he assumes Lennie took it. • Late afternoon Lennie comes to the river. His dead Aunt Clara appears and scolds him. • A huge imaginary rabbit tells him George will leave him. • George shows up and reassures Lennie. • While they talk of their dream, George puts the gun to the base of Lennie's skull and fires. • When they see Lennie everyone assumes George took the gun from him and shot him. • Slim says "You hadda, George," and takes him for a drink.

  16. Other ethical systems 1.Religion • “golden rule” • Legalist position • Situationalist position • Morals through religion are determined in 3 ways 1) conscience 2) authorities 3) scriptures

  17. 2.Natural Law • Universal set of right and wrong • Preservation of self is a natural inclination • natural rights

  18. 3.Ethics of virtue • “what is a good person” • “good people possess” • Happiness is the goal in this system • Teleological system • habit

  19. 4) Ethics of Care • human relationships and need • feminine morality

  20. 5) Egoism • What is good for one’s survival and personal happiness is moral • Psychological egoism • Enlightened egoism

  21. Other methods • Close and Meier: • Does the action violate another’s constitutional rights? • Involve treating other only as a means to an end? • Under consideration as illegal? • Would you predict act will do more harm than good for all affected? • Does it violate a departmental procedure or professional duty?

  22. Simple Questions • Does it affect others? • Does it hurt others? • Would I want it done if I were on the other side? • Would I be proud of my decision?

  23. Relativism & Absolutism • Ethical relativism • what is good and bad changes Cultural relativism: • Must allow any practice to be considered good if it is considered good by some people

  24. How do we resolve this? • Situational ethics 1) basic principals of right and wrong 2) these basic principles can be applied to ethical dilemmas and moral issues

  25. Ethical Systems - Summary • Ethical systems are not moral decisions • Ethical systems guide moral decisions • Is capital punishment right or wrong?

  26. Ethical decision making • Documentary • Was Brandon’s behaviour moral? • Were the behaviours of the people in the town moral?

  27. 4 Steps to making ethical decision • Identify the facts • Identify relevant values and concepts • Identify possible choices • Analyse the choices under an ethical system Ethical System Moral Rules Moral Judgment

  28. Who has been the greatest influence on your moral development? Why, how? • Why do people behave in ways that harm others? • Have you ever done something you knew was wrong? Why did you do it?

  29. Making ethical decisions • Psychology seeks to understand why people behave as they do • Beliefs and actions are related • Why or how some people engage in what some of us would call “Immoral behaviours”.

  30. How many have ever cheated on a test?

  31. Biological theories • Link between brain and predispositions • Not biological determinism • Frontal lobes are implicated • gender differences in brain activity

  32. © Robert Hare

  33. Learning theories • taught • modeled • reinforced • Cognitive dissonance

  34. Developmental theories • Individuals mature • Social maturity • Kohlberg’s moral stages

  35. Kohlberg’s stages of moral development • Preconventional • Conventional • Postconventional

  36. Do offenders have the same morals as nonoffenders?

  37. Criminality and Sin • Pre 50’s criminal activity was associated with sin • Post 50’s to 70’s – corrections became more scientific • Now faith based programs and also “moral education” programs