The head of your county’s parole and probation department has tasked you with a major responsibility. Your agency has come under fire as a result of published reports in the local media suggesting that recidivism rates in the county have increased because of a lack of professionalism and ethics displayed by officers of the agency. While reviewing your internal policies, you see that the agency’s code of ethics has not been updated in over 20 years. Your supervisor has decided that it is time to completely overhaul the agency’s policies and training as they relate to ethics.
You are tasked with crafting a new code of ethics. Your instructions are to research different codes of ethics being used by probation and parole agencies, as well as those proposed by professional organizations with memberships in parole and probation. Your goal is to identify the broad categories that must be addressed in your new proposed code of ethics.
Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 500-750 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:
- Research agencies and organizations and identify at least three examples of codes of ethics for probation and parole agencies.
- Compare and contrast the three different codes you’ve found. You should be discussing how the three examples are similar, as well as how they differ.
- After discussing the three examples, decide which example you would propose adopting for your agency, if any.
- It may be however, that no one code achieves your desired outcome, in which case it may be that you would choose to take certain elements from one or more of the examples you found. If that is the case, then describe what elements you would take from which examples.
- Explain in detail why you picked your chosen example, or why you chose elements from your chosen examples.
- Explain why you believe that your new code of ethics will work to improve professionalism in your agency.
- Lastly, discuss and describe what types of training would be necessary to implement the new code of ethics in your agency.
Roles of Parole and Probation Department
The parole and probation department is a department in correction services agents that deals with supervision of offenders in the community. The parole and probation officers are needed to carry out a number of statutory functions in association to offenders’ supervision in the community. The offer post- and pre-sentencing advice to the Parole Board, Supreme Courts, Magistrates, and the Youth Justice about the compliance and management of offenders in the community. The department is also involved in analysis and collection of pertinent information for the Parole Board and the Courts report submission, to assist its officers in establishing if criminals should be recommended for Parole or put on community-founded orders. The department is also responsible of managing the juvenile and adult offenders’ caseload and evaluating needs and risks of each offender so as to create individual plans structured to handle their offensive behaviors (North Territory Government, 2012).
Three codes of conducts for Parole and Probation Agencies
The three most appealing codes of conduct for parole and probation agencies include:
- The parole and probation officer shall maintain the law with dignity, demonstrating an awareness of his or her duties to offenders while acknowledging the public right to be protected from criminal activities (American probation and parole association, 2009).
- Parole and probation offices shall be objective in their duties performance, acknowledging the all individuals inalienable right, appreciating the individual inherent worth, and honoring those confidence that can be reposed in an officer.
- A probation and parole officer shall not allow financial, family, political, social or any other relationship or interest to influence the judgment or conduct in duties performance and shall step down form supervision of investigation of a case where unwarranted influence or the unwarranted influence appearance might make his or her duties questionable (In.gov, n.d.).
Comparison of the Selected Codes of Conduct
The three codes of conduct are similar in that they focus on upholding the professionalism of the officers involved in probation and parole duties. They also focus on ensuring that officers remain focused to their duties and the law that guide their conduct. The main differences among the three are that the first one focuses on streaming officers’ adherence to the law to ensure effective accomplishment of their duties to offenders and the community at large. The second one also focuses on ensuring that an office remains focused to the main objective in their work but not without remembering the rights of other individuals who may be impacted by their acts. The last one ensures that a high level of ethics is maintained and that parole job is not influenced on emotions but that they are handled with a very high level of professionalism.
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Chosen Codes of Conducts
The three codes of conducts are very essential in the agent however, only the third and the first one can be recommended to the agency. The two are chosen since they will play a great role in upholding professionalism among parole offices
Role in Professionalism Improvement
The first code focuses on the relation between the parole officer, the offender and the public by guiding the parole officer on how to conduct their duties without undermining the law or the public rights. This makes it easier control the behavior of officers and to ensure that they remain professional. The third one addresses personal relation that is very likely to occur especially while following offenders to their own home. This aspect is more likely to dilute professionalism and thus it should be integrated in the current codes of conduct.
Implementation of the New Code
Internal workshop and seminars should be organized to introduce the new codes of conducts. The seminars will include printing out the new codes and explaining them to the officers before they are implemented in the system. Explaining should go into the details to ensure everyone understand the new codes and the consequences of not following.