Ethical Dilemma




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


field encounter.


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.


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.


Research Project


Research Project


Ethics in Criminal Justice




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


impending event.


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.


Research Project




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


your answers.


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.


Ethics in Criminal Justice




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.


Research Project




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.