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Criminal Justice System and Whisle-blowing

Please assist with some ideas so I can complete the following assignment:

As a new department policy, your Superintendent feels it is important to encourage whistle-blowing. You have been asked to prepare a draft proposal on the new policy to be delivered at the next departmental meeting. Be sure to use a conversational tone to foster confidence in the officers. In your proposal, address the following issues:
? The importance of whistle-blowing to the criminal justice system.
? Explain when and how whistle-blowing is ethical, if at all. Is it a betrayal or a public duty?
? The key factors for success of the new policy and the threats.
? The importance of confidentiality ? how to retain anonymity to protect the whistleblower from being punished.
In addition, in your proposal:
? List the procedures for reporting infractions.
? Outline the support that will be given to whistleblowers. Be sure to provide an example and apply at least one of the articles of the police officer's Code of Ethics to the example.

Solution Preview

Hi,

Let's take a closer look. One approach to help you with an assignment like this one is to provide information from various sources for each section of the proposal, which you can draw on for your final proposal. This is the approach this response takes. I also attached an example of a whistleblowing policy for one police agency and two police officers Code of Ethics to consider for the last section of the proposal.

RESPONSE:

1. The importance of whistle-blowing to the criminal justice system.

Whistleblowing involves the act of reporting wrongdoing within an organization to internal or external parties. Internal whistleblowing entails reporting the information to a source within the organization. External whistleblowing occurs when the whistleblower takes the information outside the organization, such as to the media or regulators. Establishment of a clear and specific definition of whistleblowing itself should be a fundamental component of every whistleblower policy. (1)

Whistleblowing and a whistleblowing policy are important to the criminal justice system to promote the values of fairness, honesty and justice for which it stands as communicated in the code of ethics.

For example, the Criminal Justice System is committed to the highest standards of openness, probity and accountability. The Agency aims to promote a culture in which employees feel they can raise genuine concerns without fear of subsequent victimization, discrimination or disadvantage. A whistleblowing policy will help with this aim. The criminal justice system also wishes to encourage members of the public to raise genuine serious concerns over its activities so that it can investigate and take action as appropriate. (1)

The law supports whistleblowing, such as SOX (2002), which is a recent phenomenon. For example, whistleblowers have garnered attention recently due to the worldwide media exposure of recent accounting scandals. In 2002, Time magazine named whistleblowers Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, Sherron Watkins of Enron, and Coleen Rowley of the FBI as its "Persons of the Year." While the first two individuals are well known and involve financial scandals, Rowley's whistleblowing was a noncorporate case but with very serious ramifications involving lapses in the intelligence community in the weeks prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (1)

2. Explain when and how whistle-blowing is ethical, if at all. Is it a betrayal or a public duty?

Values, and the divergence of values, are the principal determinants of whistleblowing problems. No person becomes a whistleblower without some reference to right and wrong, fair and unfair, ethical and unethical. Whistleblowing is a test of values, of truth and fairness. It is not coincidental that most contemporary studies of whistleblowers identify them as more ethical, or at least more assertively ethical, than an average employee. The values that whistleblowers defend are often not easy to codify. They are often principles of fairness that are not written into laws, statutes, and codes. That is one of the reasons why whistleblowing legislation is difficult to frame. (2)

As a test of values, whistleblowing becomes a test of a culture. As many have recognised, only through cultural change will the attitudes to whistleblowers change. For example, in a recent address reported in the Kuala Lumpur Edge Daily, Enron whistleblower Lynn Brewer emphasized that the Sarbannes-Oxley Act was not sufficient to prevent big accounting fraud cases. (2)

In fact, the number of whistleblowing reports to the Securities Exchange Commission has increased from 6400 a month in 2001 (the year of Enron and the year before the Sarbannes-Oxley Act) to 40,000 a month in 2004. Brewer suggested that Sarbannes-Oxley was not deterring fraud. Legislation cannot change culture. Brewer alludes to the importance of non-financial information, such as governance, culture and fairness in compensation as being just as important as financial ratios in determining the future viability of companies. But most of this information is difficult to write down. (2)

See attached resource for a detailed discussion on the threats to whistleblowers for other considerations (see--The test called whistleblowing.pdf).

3. The key factors for success of the new policy and the threats.

Let's consider some information for you to consider for this section of your proposal. You can adjust it to fit with your agencies needs.

Success Factors

The foundation of the success any whistleblower policy is a clear and specific definition of whistleblowing. This is part of the first step in creating an environment where a whistleblower will feel safe to report problems that exist. Other key aspects of a whistleblower policy include the ...

Solution Summary

By addressing the questions, this solution discusses aspects of whistle-blowing, such as the importance of whistle-blowing to the criminal justice system, the ethical ramifications, the importance of confidentiality, procedures for reporting infractions and the support that will be given to whistleblowers. It also provides two examples of police officer's Code of Ethics as well as an example of a Whistle-blowing Policy. Supplemented with an article of a comprehensive overview of whistle-blowing and whistle-blowing policy.

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