Criminal Justice & Law

Criminal Justice Ethics

Ethical considerations pose constant questions for criminal justice professionals, judges, elected officials and society as a whole. As a measure of our progress, ideals and principles as a society, the criminal justice system is one of the most important elements of any civilization. It is in that light, that the Criminal Justice Ethics course addresses the various dynamics of ethical behavior, ethical application of the laws and ethical incarceration guidelines including capital punishment and controversial federal sentencing guidelines. Focusing on the philosophical issues and moral dilemmas within the field of criminal justice, this course takes a critical look a the principles of justice, deontology and utilitarianism as well as the various players within the system. Policing, researching, investigating, trying and incarcerating individuals within the criminal justice system raises a myriad of ethical considerations and the overall scope of state control. All of these issues are discussed before the backdrop of Constitutional considerations that are meant to reflect societal ethics, but poses a number of questions to students that encourage their own critical thinking.

Overall, this course looks at the ethical dilemmas and professional problems faced by criminal justice personnel and the overall society they represent – a society that includes both accused and convicted criminals. Students review various ethical perspectives and discuss the practical applicability of ethical ideals.

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Define key concepts related to ethics
  • Explain the impact of ethical decisions
  • Explain the relationship between values, morals, ethics, and critical thinking
  • Compare and contrast philosophies related to ethics
  • Analyze the process of making ethical decisions
  • Examine ethics in the criminal justice system
  • Evaluate methods used to address ethical misconduct in society

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