Ethics guide us on how to live and how to make judgment on whether an action or contact is wrong or right. It is through ethics that we are able to make moral choices in situations that involve moral issues. Ethics are used while solving ethical dilemmas and in the case of criminal justice, they are very important if well analyzed. Professionals such as lawyers who defend their clients mainly face ethical issues in criminal law. One of the issues is how authority should be used and thus people may use authority to promote personal values. Authority may also be used evade responsibility for wrongdoing.
There are also ethical issues when it comes to personal and professional interests since some professionals may use their status while promoting their personal interests or goals such as financial interests. They may also use organization’s resources in carrying out unassigned work. These professionals may also be engaged in activities that are against personal values such as taking drugs. Professionals may also have unstable or wrong relationships with clients such as engaging in personal relationship instead of doing the legitimate work assigned to them.
These professionals may also engage in to activities such as doing business with their clients for their own personal gains. Other ethical issues may arise due to the behavior of police while on their duties. Some police may carry out an arrest by force without authorization and they have been time and again accused of practicing racial profiling on certain ethnicities. Other ethical problems may be due to human rights issues that may advocate for severe punishment for criminals. Sharing of information is also another ethical issue that would cause an ethic dilemma in criminal justice.
Professionals may decide to withdraw or give wrong information to the court or even the client although they are obligated to giving all the true information they have about a case. Some professionals do not follow confidentiality rules and therefore end up sharing information with the wrong parties. Court records that have vital information may be exposed to the wrong parties and this is also an ethical issue to be considered. Ethical problems may also arise in the media since they might publicize something that was not meant for the public ears.
Media coverage may also politicize some crimes and therefore bring a wrong picture of the parties involved. The above issues seem to dwell mostly on the professionals who handle any criminal cases, may it be the court workers or the lawyers or even the defense attorneys or even media personalities. It is therefore very important that when choosing a career that you make sure that your selection will suit you and that you can abide to the ethics set by the society. One should follow the ethics that govern whichever career he or she chooses.
It is very important that every professional understands the ethics involved in criminal justice so that any decisions made are fair and just to all parties involved. References Banks, C. (2004). Criminal justice ethics: theory and practice. New Jersey: SAGE Publishers Leighton, P. & Reiman, J. H. (2000). Criminal justice ethics. London: Prentice hall. Kleinig, J. & Smith, L. M. (1997). Teaching criminal justice ethics: strategic issues New York: Anderson Pub. Co. Braswell, M. & McCarthy, B. J. (2005). Crime and ethics. New Jersey: LexisNexis.