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Judicial Misconduct

You work for the State Bureau of Prisons in the Office of the Inspector General and have been asked to review the allegations of several correctional officers at your state prison. The officers claim that several inmates assaulted them and caused them bodily harm. Such an assault automatically mandates an additional two years to the inmates' prison term should the allegations prove to be true.

During the interviews and subsequent hearing surrounding the allegations, one of the inmates makes the following arguments:

He and the other inmates were falsely charged.

The earlier interviews and hearing involving him and the other inmates were conducted by the warden and the chief correctional officer.

You are aware of this practice but have no evidence. You suspect abuse and misconduct on the part of administrative and correctional officers.

I need to analyze the following items and need some help on what to do!

The ethical issues at stake and whether there is an ethical violation of the legal code.

How you will decide the case based on the facts of the case and your research.

How you will justify your decision based on the facts of the case and your research.

Apart from the analysis, create a two to three paragraph memo for your direct supervisor that explains the following:

If you find there was misconduct on the part of the warden and the correctional officers and they are not disciplined, what would be your next step? Explain in detail if and why you would:

Go to the warden's supervisor or someone in the State Bureau of Corrections.

Let the issue go and ignore things from this point onward.

Solution Preview

First, there is an ethical violation of the legal code. The allegations of assault have been made by correctional officers and the interviews and hearings have been carried out by the warden and the chief correctional officer. In other words, impartiality and due process have not been given to the inmates. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution promises "due process" to the accused but this has not been provided to the inmates. An inquiry carried out by the chief correctional officer and the warden does not constitute 'due process" Their sentence cannot be increased without a fair trial as promised by the constitution.

Second, from the deontological ethics perspective, it is the duty of the chief correctional officer and the warden to be fair and just to the inmates. It is their duty ...

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