Sample Criminal Justice Essay on Ethical Policy

Short Paper: Ethical Policy

Ethics defined

Ethics refers to generally accepted set of rules that govern the conduct of an individual, or the conduct of people within a particular profession.

Ethical policy and ethical policy document

Ethical policy documents stipulate clearly the codes of conduct that offer important guidelines on how workers should relate with their colleagues and other stakeholders (Fisher, 2009, p. 12).  In other words, ethical policies are developed to create a reputation to reckon with, and to help redefine specific standards of conduct or behavior.

Six-step policy for the ethical dilemma

Step 1: The manager should identify and single out an ethical dilemma in the organization including conflicting values rights, and professional commitments among others (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 32). If for instance, there are issues of self-realization, self-actualization and self-motivation among employees, the manager should come up with appropriate rules of ethics to govern and check on employees’ work performance.

Step 2: The manager should then make a decision and name the person responsible for causing the dilemma (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 35). The manager must determine important principles and values breached by the person, the extent of damage caused to the organization and appropriate action to be taken against such a person.

Step 3: The manager then searches for facts that are relevant, precise and substantial, detailing the existence of an ethical dilemma. The facts should be current as this will help the organization make appropriate decision on whether for example (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 35), to suspend a worker for breaching the rules of conduct (ethical policies). The manager has to determine how serious the damage is to the organization and the possible outcome of a problem created by one individual. If it is the victim’s first offence, a disciplinary hearing might be considered and leniency in punishment applied.

Step 4: The manager should then come up with a consistent plan of action prioritizing the ethical issues breached central to the ethical dilemmas (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 32). The most useful and relevant issues relating to the ethical policies breached should be addressed first.

Step 5: The manager should then ensure that the action plan developed is implemented competently and skillfully without compromising both parties. The manager then makes a decision based on the gathered facts and action plan developed (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 34).  At this point, all the relevant stakeholders have been consulted and a creative solution is developed.

Step 6: The manager then takes time to make a reflection on ethical decision making process and outcome, and critically evaluate any consequence thereon (Garcia, Cartwright, Winston & Borzuchowska, 2003, p. 35). The manager should exploit all avenues and make sure no repeat of the same ethical dilemma.

Ethics challenged under Dual Agency and Ethics Conflicts in Correctional Practice

The forensic officer was in an ethical dilemma on whether to make a forensic or a treatment decision on the inmate. Based on a number of factors, the information forensic officer may be in possession of about an inmate may be true or false. But he still has to make a credible decision based on appropriate rules of conducts (Knapp, Gottlieb, Berman & Handel man, 2007, 19). However, based on the psychiatrist assessment of the inmate, and the inmate’s personal confession of a possible depressing condition, the forensic officer may decide to make a treatment decision.

Notably, the psychiatrist must always be impartial and objective as he is confined to justice principles. This ensures fair hearing resulting in a deserved judgment for the inmate. However, the question of time and cost may significantly hinder the psychiatrist from making adequate treatments and investigations. The psychiatrist is torn between fulfilling his work according to ethical standards and being rational as far as cost and time are concerned.


















Fisher, M. A. (2009). Ethics-based training for nonclinical staff in mental health settings. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(5), 459.

Garcia, J. G., Cartwright, B., Winston, S. M., & Borzuchowska, B. (2003). A transcultural integrative model for ethical decision making in counseling. Journal of Counseling & Development, 81(3), 268-277.

Knapp, S., Gottlieb, M., Berman, J., & Handel man, M. M. (2007). When laws and ethics collide: What should psychologists do? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(1), 54.