Code of Ethics
Code of Ethics By Unknown I aspire to be a corrections officer. I have been working toward my degree in criminal justice. Until recently, I had planned on a career on the investigative side of the criminal justice system. However, after I have completed this block of classes, I began taking a look at some other types of careers in the criminal justice system. Through this course, I have decided to narrow my path to that of a corrections officer. Before I begin learning the ethical standards and ethical code of a corrections officer, I need to know and understand my own personal code of ethics.
I am an African-American mother of three working toward a degree in Criminal Justice. To develop my personal code of ethics, I have chosen to use the ethics of care framework after carefully reading the section in week two of this course that explained the differences between the major ethical systems.
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I am listing my personal code of ethics below. As an American, a female, and a mother, the way I live my life is a reflection of my beliefs and is representative of the type of person I am.
I will love and protect my family; I will be honest, listen, and help my friends and family to the best of my ability; I will be a friend and be fair to those I encounter. I will not be prejudice or judgmental toward others who believe differently than I. I will evaluate a situation for what it is before I make an assumption or judgment. I will use the tools I have acquired through personal experience and education to process any situation in front of me. I will work toward being a good Christian and seek out goodness. I will live my life as an example for my family.
I will never harm another person; I will never steal from others. I will never intentionally set out to hurt someone even if they have hurt me through vindictive behavior. I will never stop believing that there is good in the world. I will never give up. The code of ethics for a corrections officer is as follows: As a Corrections Officer, my fundamental duty is to serve my community; to safeguard the lives and property within my jurisdiction; to protect against deception, oppression or intimidation; to prevent violence or disorder; and to respect and preserve the constitutional rights of all.
I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my Office. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.
I will never act officiously nor permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless dedication to duty, I will regulate those in my charge appropriately and with dignity, without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting a gratuity. My personal code of ethics is written specifically for me and how I view the world. My personal beliefs and morals are constant throughout my code. I begin my code by telling who I am. The code for corrections officer is similar in that respect.
I begin my “I Will” statements with what is the most important thing to me, my family. The love and protection of my family is the most important thing in my life. In a similar fashion, the code of ethics for a corrections officer speaks of protecting the community but this is in the preamble not in the “I Will” section. The protection of others is a big deal to me and it is vital to the role of a corrections officer. Corrections officers not only protect those on the outside by watching over the people on the inside, they have to protect those on the inside from others wanting to harm them on the inside.
My code represents how I will deal with people that are close to me and people I will meet in the future. By saying that I will be honest, fair, and listen, I am speaking about personal relationships with people. I discuss how I will use tools acquired to analyze situations before making decisions. These types of statements can be construed very much as feminist or female which is in align with the major ethical system ethics of care. The “I will not” section of my personal code correlates to my personal belief system as well.
These are pretty much blank statements that represent my personal belief system that is related a lot to my Christian beliefs. Here I discuss not stealing, harming others, etc. that fall in line with the Ten Commandments listed in the Bible. There is a “I will not” section in the officers code of ethics as well. However, in their section they discuss items such as not letting personal feelings affect their behavior as an officer. There are several differences between my code of ethics and the code of ethics for a corrections officer. A corrections officer vows to follow the laws of the land and keeping confidentiality.
My code doesn’t speak of obeying the laws of the land but is more about morality. There is a section in the code of officers that discusses being courageous and calm in the face of danger. My code talks of protection but I can’t say that I would be calm or eve courageous if I faced a dangerous situation. I would turn to my experience and training to deal with a scary situation. There are unwritten codes for corrections officers. For example: if a corrections officer male or female found an inmate sexually attractive, acting on those feelings is unethical.
I don’t have anything in my personal code of ethics that addresses this situation but I would think I would use the tools I learned during my school and my personal morals to make the decision to not engage in any type of sexual activity with an inmate. I address fairness in my code of ethics. To me, entering any type of job where you work with other people, especially where you have power over another, fairness should always come into play. I believe that this aspect of my personal code correlates with the unwritten code of corrections officer.
I believe they have to be fair in their dealings with inmates. My personal code of ethics isn’t geared specifically toward any particular ethical dilemma. However, my code will work with several types of dilemmas. For example: If I am working as a corrections officer and a fellow corrections officer says he knows a new inmate coming in and tells me he is a trouble maker. I will consider the words of my co-worker but take the time to observe the inmate and not judge the inmate based on another’s statement before I prejudge the inmate.
In some ways my personal code of ethics does reflect that of the ethical standards for a corrections officer. The first principal of the ethical standards for corrections officer is completely different than my personal code or ethics. It is focused primarily on obeying the laws of the land and the constitution. As to the first principal, my personal code doesn’t reflect any thing even slightly related to it. The second principal has rules associated with it that doe reflect some aspects of my personal code. The rule 2. states: Correctional Officers shall carry out their duties with integrity, fairness and impartiality (corrections officer ethical standards). In my personal code, I speak of being fair and not judging until I make a full assessment. Here they are similar. Rule 2. 2 states: Correctional Officers shall not knowingly make false accusations (corrections officer ethical standards). This is comparable to my statement in my personal code that discusses not lying. There are eight principals to the ethical standards of a correctional officer.
I believe my personal code of ethics match enough that I will make a good corrections officer. The theories behind these ethics are ones I believe to be true and to be in the best interest of the inmates as well as the corrections officer. I believe them to not only be ethically in line with my personal code of ethics but also based in morality in which I my code is very deeply seated. Based on the reading of the ethical standards that are set forth for the corrections officer, I would hold myself to all the rules that are stated in the ethical standards for corrections officer.
I would also hold myself to a higher standard than is required for a corrections officer. Because my ethics, morals, and general beliefs are deeply rooted in my Christian upbringing, I would approach each day as if it were my last. I would make sure to treat my fellow corrections officers with respect. I would make a point to treat others as I would want to be treated, utilizing the golden rule. This would pertain to the inmates that I would be overseeing. I wouldn’t see them as indigents, or people of a lower standard than myself, I would see them as people. I would treat them as such.