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  • Hello class

  • In this chapter we touched on some of the ethical issues that correctional personnel

  • face in institutional correctional settings.

  • In previous chapters you learned how discretion plays a role in each phase of the criminal

  • justice system. In corrections, discretion is involved when a correctional officer, for

  • example, chooses whether to write a disciplinary "ticket" or merely delivers a verbal reprimand;

  • this is similar to the discretion that police have in traffic stops.

  • Discretion is also involved when a formal disciplinary committee makes a decision to

  • punish an inmate for an infraction: The punishment can be as serious as increasing the length

  • of a sentence through loss of good time or as minor as a temporary loss of privileges.

  • This type of discretion is similar to the discretion of the prosecutor and judge in

  • a criminal trial.

  • Correctional officers also make daily decisions regarding granting inmates' passes, providing

  • supplies, and even answering questions.

  • As always, when the power of discretion is present, the potential for abuse is also present.

  • Sometimes correctional professionals have the power to do things that they don't have

  • the legal authority to do. That is, some officers can deny an inmate a pass to go to the doctor

  • even though, according to the prison rules, the inmate has a right to go. When officers

  • exceed their authority, inmates' only recourse is to write a grievance.

  • Professional ethics, as provided in a code of ethics, should guide correctional officers,

  • and other staff members, in their use of discretion and power, but, as with law enforcement and

  • other legal professionals, adhering to a code of ethics is influenced by many things including

  • the prison's "subculture" and institutional values.

  • As we can see, these individuals have much in common with other criminal justice practitioners,

  • in the area of discretion, and they are also in a unique position in that they hold power

  • over the most basic aspects of life for confined inmates.

  • This position allows correctional officers either to intensify the humiliation that incarcerated

  • offenders feel, or to make the prison experience more tolerable for those who serve their time.

  • Experience tells us that the most difficult decisions for correctional officers arise

  • from the personal relationships that develop with inmates, the trust that is sometimes

  • betrayed, the favors that seem harmless, and the coercive environment that makes violence

  • normal, and caring abnormal.

  • Correctional treatment personnel (i.e., psychologist) have their own problems in resolving conflicts

  • between loyalty toward clients and toward the system.

  • To be in a helping profession in a system geared for punishment is a difficult challenge

  • for anyone, and the temptation to re-treat into bureaucratic compliance or, worse, "egoistic

  • relativism" is always present.

  • Although this chapter has discussed officers mistreating inmates and correctional professionals

  • engaging in other unethical conduct, it should not be implied that criminal justice workers,

  • as a whole, are blatantly or pervasively unethical.

  • Arguably, the criminal justice system operates as well as it does only because of the caring,

  • committed, honest people who choose it as a career.

  • Please now continue with your weekly assignments

Hello class

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B2 correctional criminal justice criminal inmate justice disciplinary

WEEK 16, SP14 ( Correctional Officer Ethics))

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    陳元恆 posted on 2015/05/02
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