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During the course of every day, various ethical issues will
require you to make decisions that may affect your career,
your personal life, and perhaps the life or livelihood of others,
including your coworkers, friends, and potential criminal
defendants. Throughout this course, you’ll read about and
analyze various topics that people in the criminal justice
At the end of most of the chapters in your textbook, you’ll be
presented with a variety of ethics-related scenarios to evalu-
ate. You should consider what you’ve read in the text while
you analyze these scenarios, since your thoughts will help
you complete this course project.
Be sure to answer each of the questions as completely as
possible, using the information in your textbook and any
other information you’ve learned to support your positions.
The questions have no absolute right or wrong answers. As
long as your answer is logical and you support it by referenc-
ing material you’ve learned in your textbook, you’ll do fine.
To satisfy the requirements for this project, you must prepare
five short, 250-word essays in response to five questions. Each
question is worth 20 points. The five questions are based on the
following fact scenario.
Imagine you’re working as an administrator in a police depart-
ment in your local town or city. Each day you interact with
police officers in your department, police officers from other
departments, various members of your office staff, other
officials, members of the public, representatives from the pr
potential criminal defendants, and others.
As you prepare your answers to the questions, keep in mind
that you’re a public official and that you have a duty to uphold
justice and follow the law.
Ethical Dilemma 1: Gun Rally
One afternoon you receive an anonymous tip that a local gun
advocacy group is going to hold a rally in the town square the
next day. The group hasn’t applied for a permit to have such
a rally, but they’ve held such events in the past and they’ve
always been peaceful. You strongly support Article 2 of the
Constitution and the beliefs of the gun advocacy group, and
you don’t want to do anything that will hurt them or their
members. You believe the anonymous tipster is providing
rate information, but you can’t be absolutely sure. You also
believe no one else in your police department is aware of the
What do you do? Give reasons to support your decision.
Ethical Dilemma 2: Chief’s Orders
Assume that in response to question 1 you decided to advise
your fellow police officers about the tip you received. You
gather a group of officers together the next day in case the
unlawful rally is held. As the gun advocacy group begins to
appear on the town square green, you confer with the chief
officer on duty that day. She tells you to wait until the entire
group has gathered and then storm the area, with tear gas
and billy clubs. You’re further instructed to arrest everyone
you can and to charge them with unlawful assembly, tres-
passing, rioting, and anything else you can come up with.
She also makes some very derogatory comments about any-
one who supports such a group, claiming they’re terrorists
and thugs. You personally disagree with the chief and believe
she’s acting both improperly and immorally, allowing her
personal beliefs to interfere with her legal responsibilities
as a police officer.
What do you do? Do you follow her orders? Why or why not?
Explain your answer.
Ethical Dilemma 3: Accepting Favors
You’re asked to investigate the gun advocacy group and their
activities. To do so, you need to work with the police depart-
ment in the next county. After contacting their chief, you’re
assigned to work with another seasoned officer who has also
been conducting some preliminary investigations of the group.
You decide to do some field investigations together the follow-
ing day. While you’re out doing your investigations, the other
officer decides to stop at the local convenient market for a
sandwich and coffee. He picks up what he wants, waves to
the owner, and returns to the police vehicle—without paying
for the items. When you ask him about it, he says that he
has an “arrangement” with the owner and not to worry about
it. He explains that he and the store owner help each other
out (meaning the officer provides additional protection to the
store in exchange for the food). Finally, he
says, “If you’re hungry, go inside and pick up what you want.”
What do you do and what concerns do you have? Explain
Ethical Dilemma 4: Reporting a Deal
You happen to be in the courthouse during the trial of some
of the members of the gun advocacy group. As you walk by
the chambers of the judge who is presiding over the trial of
this case, you overhear the judge and the chief prosecutor
discussing the case. The judge is talking about one of the
defendants in the case and is making some very derogatory
comments. In the past, you’ve often appeared in trials before
this judge, and you’ve always felt he has been fair and impar-
tial to all involved. In this case, however, you’re concerned that
the judge and prosecutor may be engaging in inappropriate
activity. This situation is particularly troublesome because
the trial is proceeding at the request of all parties as a bench
trial, with the decision being rendered by the judge without
the benefit of a jury. What would you do? Explain your answer.
Ethical Dilemma 5: Breaking Prison Rules
In the course of your investigation of the gun advocacy group,
you have to go to your local county prison to question one of
the group members being held there pending trial. This par-
ticular individual has been a problem inmate and is being held
in solitary confinement. He’s to have no contact with other
members of the group. You meet with him in a private inter-
rogation room with no one else in attendance. He knows that
you generally support the group, and he does his best to
answer your questions, although his answers aren’t always as
complete as you would like. At the end of the questioning—
just before he rises to leave the room—he slips you a note
in a sealed envelope and asks that you give it to someone
who is involved in the gun advocacy group. He says it’s very
important and implores you to just hand it to the person or
drop it in the mail. He then leaves the interrogation room.
What do you do? Explain your answer.
1. Create a title page with the following information:
a. Title: Ethics in Criminal Justice
b. Your name
c. Your Student Number
d. Project number: 50176000
e. Current date
2. Prepare your answers to the ethical dilemmas in a
word-processing program. Each answer should be at
least 250 words.
3. Double-space your answers, with left and right margins
of 1 to 1.25 inches, flush left and ragged right. Use a
plain 12-point font.
4. Incorporate and properly reference any sources of infor-
mation you’ve used to develop your answers. To cite your
sources, please follow this procedure:
a. Use in-text citations to indicate references to infor-
mation from outside sources. Include the author’s
name and the relevant page number(s) in parenthe-
ses. Here’s an example: Human beings have been
described as “symbol-using animals” (Burke 3).
b. At the end of your paper, include a Works Cited
page, listing all of the sources you’ve consulted.
Use either MLA or APA format for this page. For
information on how to prepare this page, go to the
Penn Foster Library and click on
Guidebooks andTips in the main menu.
5.Read over your work carefully. Make sure it’s professional
with correct formatting, grammar, and citations, along
with adequate support for any arguments you make.
6. Submit the final draft of your work, along with the title
page, only after you’ve completed writing your answers
to each dilemma.
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