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Ethical dilemmas permeate the criminal justice system. (The Parole Board, The Warden, The District Attorney, The Officer) - Research Paper Example

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The Parole Board
In this question, Robert faces the question of priority – which is more important, decongestion of overcrowded prisons or safety of the community from ex-convicts. As chair of the parole board, one of the functions and objectives of Robert is to see to it that the prison cells are well-kept…
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Ethical dilemmas permeate the criminal justice system. (The Parole Board, The Warden, The District Attorney, The Officer)
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, Robert should endeavour to maintain the high standards set for a state prison.
In the same way, Robert’s jurisdiction is not only limited to the physical welfare of the prisoners. He must also see to it that the objective of incarceration of the prisoners, that is, not just to punish them for their malfeasance and/or misfeasance, but more so, to reform them so as to make them more productive individuals after their release.
The issue on overcrowded prison cells already exists. The potential risk of being sued for violation of human rights, among others, cannot be denied. The families of the concerned inmates or even the concerned citizens may sue the state anytime, and the grounds therefore are glaring. This may only be one issue; however, the possibility of using it against the present administration is a big possibility. It may therefore ripen into a national or international issue.
On the other hand, premature release of prisoners will surely expose the public from danger. If the inmates will be released sooner than they should be, the process of reformation may not be complete. Hence, the inclination to do evil is not yet totally cleansed from the prisoners. The period within which the each prisoner would undergo in order to realize his mistakes and its consequences is not yet attained. Therefore, there will be no assurance that upon release of these prisoners, they could easily live normally with other people, without the public being exposed to possible risks of becoming victims, once again, by the former lawless elements. I believe that Robert should not suggest the release of inmates to community-based supervision. Rather, Robert should suggest that additional prison cells be constructed so as to solve the problem on overcrowding. If he will do the former, Robert will be relieved of some of his duties but ultimately, he shall be morally responsible for its consequences. Robert should apply the “act utilitarian ethical theory”. This means that his decision must be based on the greatest benefit to the most number of people, without regard to the personal feelings or societal pressures. According to this theory, “an individual’s rights may be infringed in order to benefit a greater population.” (Rainbow, Catherine. “Descriptions of Ethical Theories and Principles “. Davidson College. n.d. Web. 05 May 2012. http://www.bio.davidson.edu/people/kabernd/indep/carainbow/Theories.htm) This act utilitarian ethical theory takes into account the total value of the effects of a particular act, the one which is more important. The act that yields to the common good or benefit is considered the perfect ethical choice. If the overall benefits from an act is greater than the total damage, if any, the decision made is definitely morally acceptable. In this scenario, premature release of prisoners to community-based supervision is favourable to the inmates only. They will be freed from living in highly-congested prison cells where they are exposed to acquired illnesses, uncomfortable manner of sleep, etc. Yes, there is the possibility of them becoming “normal” persons in the civil society if given the chance. However, since their term of imprisonment is not yet through, the former being based on the kind of crime committed, the likelihood that they have not yet fully realized the consequences of their acts and its effects to the community might expose the public to a possible repetition of the criminal acts previously committed. These possibilities, no matter how remote, cannot totally be ignored. Robert should instill in his mind that prisoners were being imprisoned because of commission of a crime. They need ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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