Ethics dilemma essay

The Officers in Correction are in great ethical dilemma on day to day basis. They are to preserve order in prison by controlling prisoners by force, which is against the ethical code of the Jail Officers. If they become friendly and human to enforce order, it has consequential effects of expecting return favor by prisoners, leading to violation of duty some times. Reporting corrupt incidents is ethical. But, proving such reports being difficult, the Officer himself is put into trouble. Such is the dilemma of ethics for Police officers in correctional administration. Introduction

Correctional officers in prisons face ethical dilemma every day. (McConnell, T. 2006)The discussion follows: Discussion The police officers in correction face an ordeal in maintaining order in the Jail. As Jail officers, they can not be friendly with the prisoners to maintain order, since it would result in corrupt situations. They can not be forceful with them also in order to maintain order, as it would be against the code of ethics. Police Officers in correction have to guard the Jails in such a manner that the Jails are kept in right order of keeping the Jail life peaceful for both the prisoners and the guards.

They may be required to maintain good relationship with the inmates for obtaining their cooperation for this. If they become friendly with the prisoners then it carries with it a risk of mutual obligation on the part of the Officer. When the inmate commits something wrong, the Jail officer is obligated to close his eyes in that case. On the other hand, if Jail officers enforce order, by third degree methods, like ‘tune ups’ which means verbal or physical assaults, then they will be violating the basic ethics of a Police officer.

The code of ethics for the Jail officers is apparently impracticable. It is impossible for a Jail Officer to be a good citizen and a credit to his community, state, and the nation at all times, because of situations as explained above. Many unlawful things might happen within the jail premises. The usual day consist of dealing with most difficult, violent and recalcitrant criminals. (McConnell, T. ,2006) Tom Murton’s case in Arkansas Department of correction is a typical case of Ethical dilemma of those working as Police Officers in the area of correction.

Allegedly, upon the information from some inmates, he dug the Jail premises and found two corpses, which he reported to the authorities. Legal system ultimately fired him for the offense of grave robbery, on the claim that those bodies were taken out of some church cemetery. The practical, but unethical Jail officer, would have kept quiet than bringing it to the attention of the Law because reporting such incidents and proving in the court of law is very difficult, sometimes, beyond the capacity of an officer.

This is the basic ethical dilemma. Conclusion The legal system should make a thorough review of the plight of Jail officers and bring about such a modification that the Jail officer will be a honest police officer and at the same time effective in controlling Jail inmates.


Mcconnell, T. (2006). Associated Content Information from the Source. Retrieved April 20, 2009 from http://www. associatedcontent. com/article/72862/ethics_in_corrections. html