Lesson8/criminal ethics

Open Posted By: highheaven1 Date: 18/02/2021 Graduate Rewriting & Paraphrasing


Lesson Eight: Chapters 13 and 14

Chapter 13:

Q1. Briefly explain what  Zimbardo's 'Stanford Prison Experiment' was about. What did we learn from this experiment?

Chapter 14:

Q1.  In Chapter Five of the text, and again  in Chapter 14, there was a  discussion about the 'crime control approach' and the 'public service  approach' to lawlessness. Keeping in mind what is happening in the US  today, comment on both of these approaches.

Category: Accounting & Finance Subjects: Accounting Deadline: 12 Hours Budget: $120 - $180 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1





Lecture Slides prepared by Cheryn Rowell


Review of Major Themes

  • The presence of authority, power, force, and discretion in each of the sub-systems of the criminal justice
  • Informal practices and value systems among criminal justice actors that vary from formal principles of behavior
  • The importance of ethical leadership
  • The tension between deontological ethical systems and teleological or “means–end” ethical analysis


The Threat of Terrorism

“Deliberate, negligent, or reckless use of force against noncombatants, by state or non-state actors for ideological ends and in the absence of a substantively just legal process.”


The “Just War” Debate

Philosophers have debated the idea of “just” wars since the time of Cicero (c. 106–43 B.C.)

  • Natural Law: war is acceptable

- To uphold the good of the community

- When unjust injuries are inflicted on others

- To protect the state

  • Positivist Law: (man-made) when international law is following; e.g., United Nations


Justification for War Includes:

  • A grave, lasting, and certain threat

  • No other means to avert the threat

  • A good probability of success

  • The means must not create a greater evil than the threat responded to


Ethical Justifications for War
and Means Utilized

Utilitarianism: when the benefits outweigh the negatives; e.g., when there is a grave threat and civilian deaths are minimized

Ethical formalism: use of aggression can be justified with

principle of forfeiture

principle of double effect


  • Can “just war” arguments be applied?
  • Can “Dirty Harry” arguments be applied?

Response to Terrorism


There has been a fundamental shift in the goals and mission of law enforcement and public safety.

New goals include more national law enforcement, and a reduction of civil liberties.

There is a greater emphasis on surveillance and crime control.

There are increasing links between local law enforcement and immigration services and federal law enforcement.

Response to 9/11


After 9/11

  • Detainments and greater governmental secrecy
  • The Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security
  • Wiretapping and threats to privacy
  • Renditions and secret prisons
  • Guantanamo and the Military Commissions
  • The use of torture


Detainments and Governmental Secrecy

  • Immediately after 9/11, hundreds of non-citizens were detained on either immigration charges or material witness warrants.
  • The Patriot Act required that all individuals on visas report to immigration offices many were detained on minor violations of their visa and held for months in federal facilities and county jails without hearings.
  • Names and even the number of detainees were withheld for months.
  • Deportation hearings were closed to the media and public.


The Patriot Act

  • Authorizes federal agents to spy on Americans without probable cause or reasonable suspicion

  • Allows authorities to share with state prosecutors information obtained via FISA search warrants which do not require probable cause

  • Authorizes deportation of anyone who financially supports a terrorist organization

  • Requires all Arab-born citizens to register under the National Security Entry-Exit Registration system

The Act was extended in 2006 (to 2009), with modifications.


Wiretapping and Threats
to Privacy

  • Patriot Act—“sneak and peek,” “national security letters,” pen registers
  • “Data mining” programs
  • Presidential secret warrantless wiretappings
  • DNA data banks


Renditions and Secret Prisons

  • Renditions—kidnapping suspects in Canada, Sweden, Germany, and Italy sometimes without knowledge or approval of governments
  • Secret prisons—subjects of renditions taken to countries to be tortured or to secret prisons (closed in 2006?)


Guantanamo and the
Military Commissions Act

  • Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)—U.S. citizens could not be held indefinitely without charges even if they were labeled “enemy combatants”
  • Rasul v. Bush (2004)—detainees in Guantanamo could challenge their detention in U.S. federal courts
  • Clark v. Martinez (2005)—government may not indefinitely detain even illegal immigrants without some due process
  • Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2005)—“military commissions,” set up as a type of due process for the detainees, were outside the President’s power to create and were, therefore, invalid


Military Commissions Act

  • Congress passed Act after Hamdan v. Rumsfeld invalidated presidential decree
  • Widespread criticism that Act ignored ancient right of habeas corpus
  • Boumediene v. Bush (No. 06-1195, Decided June 12, 2008)—the Supreme Court rejected the military commissions as a due process substitute for federal courts and habeas corpus; also, Detainee Treatment Act was not a substitute for habeas corpus rights



Deliberate infliction of violence and, through violence, severe mental and/or physical suffering upon individuals:

Subjected to loud noises and extreme heat and cold

Deprived of sleep, light, food, and water

Bound or forced to stand in painful positions for long periods of time

Kept naked and hooded

Thrown into walls

Sexually humiliated

Threatened with attack dogs

Shackled to the ceiling


  • Justification

- Utilitarianism (doctrine of necessity)

Does torture result in the truth?

Does it matter?

  • Where?

- Guantanamo

- Secret prisons

- Bagram prison—Afghanistan

- Abu Ghraib—Iraq


Thinking Point

In May of 2010, Faisal Shahzad made an attempt to set off a car bomb in Time Square. Shahzad has since been charged with an act of terrorism and mass destruction. Shahzad became a US citizen in April of 2009. He had recently reentered the country after spending five months in Pakistan. Shahzad claims he acted alone in his attempt.

Knowing Shazad’s history, would it be ethical to use certain torture methods to ensure he is being honest?

Crime Control and “Means-End” Thinking

The desired end (deterring/preventing terrorist attack) is seen as justifying such means as restricting:

  • privacy rights

  • due-process rights

  • rights to associate (as when individuals are deported simply for associating with groups that have been defined as terrorist)

  • right not to be tortured (waterboarding and other “coercive interrogation techniques”)


The Crime Control Approach

A utilitarian approach can be used to justify invasive or restrictive police actions:

  • The end must itself be good.
  • The means must be a plausible way to achieve the end.
  • There must be no alternative, better means to achieve the same end.
  • The means must not undermine some other equal or greater end.


Crime Control vs. Human Rights

Crime Control:

  • “Dirty Harry” reasoning
  • Ends-means thinking
  • Doctrine of necessity
  • Utilitarianism

Rights Based Policing:

  • Emphasis on law
  • Emphasis on due process
  • Emphasis on inalienable rights
  • Ethical formalism

Rights Based Police Standards (UK)

1. To fulfill the duties imposed on them by the law

2. To respect human dignity and uphold human rights

3. To act with integrity, dignity, and impartiality

4. To use force only when strictly necessary, and then proportionately

5. To maintain confidentiality

6. Not to use torture or use ill-treatment

7. To protect the health of those in their custody

8. Not to commit any act of corruption

9. To respect the law and the code of conduct and oppose violations of them

10. To be personally liable for their acts

Is War on Terror Related to Criminal Justice Ethics?

War on Terror has affected police policies and added new responsibilities

Powers created to fight terror have been used against “garden variety” criminals and governmental surveillance/spying has been used against American citizens

Patriot Act renewal had provision for speeding death penalty appeals

Routine partnerships (and conflicts) between local law enforcement and DHS

Civil liberties take centuries to create, but only a few generations to destroy (Wilson)


Attachment 2


Correctional Professionals: Misconduct and Responses

Lecture Slides prepared by Cheryn Rowell



  • Bribery for access to legitimate activities
  • Bribery to protect illicit activities
  • Mistreatment/harassment/extortion of inmates
  • Gross mismanagement (e.g., prison industries)


Malicious or purposeful abuse: excessive use of force; rape and sexual harassment; theft and destruction of personal property; false disciplinary charges; intentional denial of medical care; failure to protect; racial abuse and harassment; excessive and humiliating strip searches.

Negligent abuse: negligent denial of medical care; failure to protect, lack of responsiveness; negligent loss of property or mail.

Systemic or budgetary abuse: overcrowding; inadequate medical care; use of isolation units

Corruption (Bomse)


The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA 2003)

Mandated that every state keep a record of prison rapes and allocated money to study the problem and develop solutions.

Abu Ghraib in the U.S.?

  • Gladiator fights in Corcoran Prison
  • The “Tucker telephone” in Arkansas
  • Using “dog boys” as live quarry for Texas dog handlers
  • Beatings and the use of dogs on prisoners
  • Looking the other way while inmates beat and raped a victim
  • Inmates being forced to wear pink underwear as punishment
  • Inmates being stripped as punishment
  • Inmates being made to wear black hoods

Thinking Point

The California Department of Corrections has been implicated in a series of inappropriate behaviors towards inmates. In May of 2010, several California state senators demanded Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger begin an investigation in multiple reports of prison corruption. According to accusations, correctional officers withheld medical care, participated in using racial slurs, and punished correctional officers who reported unethical behavior.

What implications may occur if the Governor decides to investigate? What may occur, if he does not?

Is such behavior commonplace in many prisons?

Can it be prevented?

Community Corrections

Most offenders are under some form of community supervision (probation or parole, halfway houses, work release centers, and intermediate sanctions).

Community supervision poses different ethical challenges than institutional corrections.


The Zimbardo Experiment

In the 1970s, a mock prison was set up in the basement of a building on the grounds of Stanford University.

College men were arbitrarily assigned to be guards or inmates.

Many of the “guard” subjects became brutal toward the “inmate” subjects.

Many of the “inmate” subjects became docile and submissive.

Behavioral changes in both groups were so profound that the experiment was canceled after six days.

The study illustrates the profound effect of a prison experience.


Management and Unions

  • have been successful in some states in obtaining greater benefits for their members.
  • have not been especially effective at promoting professionalism and ethics among their members.


Management Ethical Goals

Treat staff fairly and impartially

Make merit-based promotions

Show no prejudice

Lead by example

Develop a clear mission statement

Develop a code of ethics that is a list of “dos,” not a list of “don’ts”

Create a performance-based culture, not a seniority-based culture

Solicit staff input on new policies

Be respectful

Create an culture that values ethical behavior


A New

America has one of the world’s highest rates of incarceration.

High recidivism rates suggest that prisons and other deterrence mechanisms are not particularly effective in reducing crime.

Some advocate a new approach to crime and punishment.


Restorative Justice Goals

  • Meeting a clearly defined and obvious need

  • Symbolically linking offender and victim, or offender and community

  • Viewing offenders as resources, with outcome measures directed to the work itself, rather than to the offender's behavior

  • Involving offenders in project planning and execution

  • Achieving a sense of accomplishment, closure, and community recognition


Sentencing circles or healing circles: offender meets with the victims, family and others and group determines sanction

Victim-offender mediation: brings victims face-to-face with their offenders so the victims can tell the offenders how being victimized affected them

Community reparative boards: seek to devise sentences that meet the needs of both parties

Victim education: similar to victim-offender mediation, does not match victims with their particular offenders, but instead uses volunteer victims to meet with offenders and explain the effects victimization had on them

Restorative Justice Goals



Reintegrative and Stigmatizing

A variety of punishments inflicted on offenders today incorporate the concept of shame

  • Some convicted of drunk driving must obtain special license plates
  • Some sex offenders must post signs on their houses
  • Some offenders have been required to publicly confess and seek the forgiveness of their community
  • Sex offender registries (have led to offenders being injured or killed in a few instances)



  • Should only victims be able to give forgiveness?
  • Is it possible to be too forgiving?
  • What is the ethical justification for forgiveness?
  • Is it wrong not to forgive?


Restorative Justice Goals

  • Meeting a clearly defined and obvious need

  • Symbolically linking offender and victim, or offender and community

  • Viewing offenders as resources, with outcome measures directed to the work itself, rather than to the offender's behavior

  • Involving offenders in project planning and execution

  • Achieving a sense of accomplishment, closure, and community recognition