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CJS Special Ethical Codes or Codes of Conduct

Why do police, attorneys, and judges need special ethical codes or codes of conduct? What similarities do these groups share which provide opportunities for misconduct?

What are the consequences of such misconduct for others who work in the criminal justice system?

What are some of the boundaries that prison staff may cross in interacting with inmates. What are some of the consequences of crossing such boundaries?

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Hi,

Interesting questions! Let's take closer look through discussion and example. I also attached two informative and supporting resources.

RESPONSE:

1. Why do police, attorneys, and judges need special ethical codes or codes of conduct?

When codes of ethics or codes of conduct are applied to specific groups of people - public servants, doctors - codes are the the framework upon which professions are built, as they are intended to direct the behavior of those in the profession. Often codes are what professionals use to make the claim that they are "professionals" and are often the founding document for a profession, e.g. the Hippocratic oath for physicians. While it is true that not all such oaths are codes, it is often the case that codes are built into oaths or other related ceremonies related to become a professional. They can be found in the ceremonies ordaining religious leaders in many faiths, and in swearing the oath of office for many political leaders around the world. Likewise, police, attorneys and judges also need special ethical codes or codes of conduct that reflect the specific behaviors and codes specific to their profession (see http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/17/33/35521418.pdf). For example, judges have a Code of Judicial Conduct, but also are expected to direct their conduct or behavior according to the code for the employees of judiciary, but the judge's code will take precedence in case of discrepancy (see http://www.supreme.state.az.us/ethics/Employee_Code_of_Conduct.pdf, which is attached for convenience).

b. What similarities do these groups share which provide opportunities for misconduct?

They are public servants in the justice system, so they can make biased ...

Solution Summary

This solution responds to the questions related to aspects of the police, attorneys, and judges need for special ethical codes or codes of conduct. Supplemented with an example of a code of ethics and an article on ethics in Criminal Justiice System (CJS) to further the discussion.

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