Creating and Implementing An Agency Policy on Ethics In A Criminal Justice Agency

Assignment Instructions – Creating and Implementing An Agency Policy on Ethics

There are ethical challenges in every aspect of the criminal justice system. Administrators are responsible for setting the tone for ethical conduct in the administration and operation of their agency. You are to assume the role of the head (Chief, Director, Warden, etc.) of a fictitious criminal justice agency; e.g., police department or sheriff’s office, local detention center (adult or juvenile) prosecutors’ office, trial court, probation agency, correctional institution, parole board, parole agency, etc.

As the head administrator, you decide it is in the best interest of your agency to have a policy that sets forth how the agency will operate in an ethical manner…. similar to a Code of Ethical Conduct

In your paper you are to describe in detail your plan to insure ethical practices in your selected agency.

  • How will your ethical policy be established? (Who will be involved in drafting the document? What resources will be drawn on or references? etc.)
  • How will it be communicated to the members of the agency to ensure awareness and adoption?
  • How will it be inspected to ensure compliance?
  • How will it be reinforced so that members of the agency clearly understand your seriousness?

NOTE: The content of your ethics policy or code is irrelevant and, but for clarification or reference purposes should not be included in this project paper. Instead, the paper should concentrate on your plan to create and Implement it.

Format Requirements

The paper should be a minimum of 1,000 words, Double space , 12 pt. font, 1” margins. A minimum of 3 supportive resources from course materials or outside sources and use American Psychological Association (APA) citations for all narrative and reference sources. Include a separate Reference Page (not included in word count)

 

Sample Solution – Creating and Implementing An Agency Policy on Ethics In A Criminal Justice Agency

Introduction

Human resources are regarded as the most important stakeholders in any organization. Their work related behaviors which include their interaction with each other and the people they serve, their commitment into following the production procedure strictly, and their utilization of the company time and other facilities or resources among others highly determines the organization performance. To enhance positive performance any institution need to develop a code of conduct that will guide workers while performing their daily operations. A code of conduct contains value as an external corporate commitments and values statement and as an internal guideline. A code of ethics that is well written clarifies the principles, values, and mission of an organization, connecting them with professional conduct standards. The code pronounces the values that an organization needs to nurture in employees and leaders and, thus, delineates desired behavior. Therefore, a written code of ethics can develop standards against persons that organizational and individual performance can be assessed. This paper describes ethical practices to be employed in a virtual police department.

Development of the Ethical Policy

The described ethical standards in this case will focus on a virtual police department. Police officers have a number of duties that should not be compromised by unethical behaviors. They also need to protect their relation with the community, which entrust them in maintaining peace and order and upholding the rule of the law. The mission of this code of conduct is to ensure that the department workers maintain high level of integrity and credibility while performing their daily activities.

The ethical policy will be developed in a systematic way, where various stakeholders will be involved. The process will involve a few steps which will ensure that the policy clearly addresses the crucial operational and behavioral aspects of the department. The first step will involve the conduction of a research to determine ethical problems affecting the department. This will be done by the senior officials in the department, leaders of community policing, and human rights organization in the area. The main aim is to determine the most abused police power and other forms of misconduct that may need to be regulated. The research will also involve the review of the literature regarding other related police misconducts that have been recorded in other regions. This will ensure that the policy covers all possible situations and hence serves its purpose effectively. This research will be conducted by human rights department and community policing leaders. The obtained data will be used to define the aspects to be included in the code of conduct (McDevitt, Farrell& Wolff, 2008).

The code of conduct will define how the officers should behave based on the use of the power given to them by the constitution. Thus the new code of ethics will be based on the constitution and other laws that govern police conducts and other similar government agencies. Drafting of the police will basically involve all stakeholders affected by police conducts. This includes the department officials who are likely to lose their dignity following police misconduct (Whitton, 2001). Other includes the community leaders who are the direct receive of police brutality, discrimination, and the effect of the police corruption. Other stakeholders include the human right activists who are always in the forefront condemning police brutality and other police misconducts. A few police officers and member of the community should also be consulted and their views collected before making the draft. The main reference will include any other code of conduct written in police department in other parts of the country or across the world. While selecting references, the stakeholders need to ensure that the policies have been demonstrated effective results in places where they have been implemented. Meaning they should be evidence based.

Communication of the Policy to the Agency

Effective implementation of any policy is highly determined by how the police are communicated to the affected parties. In this case, the entire police department needs to be aware of the policy and how it is likely to influence their workability. The initial communication about the police will be done in the initial policy development stages. The department will inform the all member of the department that it intends to establish a new employees’ code of conduct and they are all welcomed to make contributions. In addition to this, the department will then provide a platform where individual views will be collected, for instance a suggestion box. The department will keep on updating other members of the department on the policy development process through internal memos.

The first policy draft will also be released to all to read through. To facilitate accessibility, the department will give a copy in the joint printing section where any interested member can get own copy. Any question, concern or contribution regarding the policy by the officers should be channeled to the department in writing or via email. After the final draft has been made, the department will make a copy for each member of the department. These copies will be used to facilitate training where all members will be taken through the policies with clear explanation on what each aspect means, action that would be said to break the law, and dictated acts and behavior (Orrick, n.d.). The training may take a while. It should also be provided in groups to ensure clear understanding of each section especially based on individual unit of operation. The end of the training will be crown by signing of the code of conduct declaration form which will clearly acknowledge that the officer is aware of the ethical law governing his or her conduct in his or her unit of operation. One copy will be filed in the employee’s file with each worker keeping a signed copy. The signing will take place in the presence of the department lawyer and another witness, mostly a personal lawyer or any other appointee from the department.

Inspection to Ensure Compliance

The aim of the training offered to the officers and other members of the department will be ensuring that each member in the department understand the new ethical provision and hence change their behaviors to avoid any related punishment. In this regard, the policy will be created to define anticipated officers’ conduct, what they are not allowed to do, and the punishment resulting from doing contrary to the set code of conduct. The punishment will also be provided as per the broken law, and individual offense record (Orrick, n.d.). Senior officers in each department will be required to keep a close supervision of their juniors to ensure that they comply. The department will open regular investigation on the police conduct in the surrounding community. Community complains box will be open to facilitate this activity. The officers will be required to clearly display their work badge to show their employee’s number while operating. This will facilitate the collection of data on individual officer misconduct by the department. The public will also be allowed to report police misconduct to the human right office and community policing leaders’ office. This will be done throughout. Officer will also be allowed to report each other using anonymous reporting style to avoid internal conflict and victimization. Regular review of the collected information from all the above mentions sources will be done; mostly on monthly basis.

Reinforcement to Enhance the Understanding of the Seriousness of the Policy

The review will assist in identifying officers that have managed to break the set code of conduct. The initial review will provide a written warning to all officers who will be featured to behave against the set standards. All these warnings will be filed. The warning which will be initialed for the first six months will clearly instruct the officers to revise their code of conduct and rectify their behaviors. Frequent training will be provided on the policy to all, with more emphasis put on the most frequently broken laws, in the first six month. After the grace period, the law will be fully implemented such that, anyone found behaving against the set standard will strictly be punished as provided by the defined policy (Whitton, 2001). This will make the officers understand the seriousness of the new policy. All previously reporting system will remain opened throughout, and close supervision by the seniors at all level remain strict.  This will ease the process of the law implementation through punishing those found to do contrary to the provided code of conduct.


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