Ethical Dilemmas in Criminal Justice

This module is significant because it provided me with much useful information about ethical dilemmas and decisions that could happen in the sphere of criminal justice. The textbook by Pollock (2018) was the primary source of information. Thus, the reflection paper will summarize the covered material, highlight the most important pieces of knowledge, explain the significance of the module for my future career, and compare the material to my background knowledge.

To begin with, I should summarize chapters 11-13 that were covered during this module and highlight the most interesting aspects. Firstly, chapter 11 focused on the rationale behind punishment and treatment and explained that utilitarianism and deontology are ethical frameworks that advocate for punishment (Pollock, 2018). The chapter also commented on the fact that there are supporters and opponents of capital punishment, and it was interesting to see and analyze their arguments. Secondly, chapter 12 considered the role of correctional officers in the prison system and commented on their and probation and parole officers’ ethical issues (abuse of office, stress, harassment, and others) (Pollock, 2018). It was useful to know that these officers could offer specific treatment while considering cases of their friends or relatives. Finally, chapter 13 focuses on the fact that correctional officers are typically involved in various types of misconduct, including theft, trafficking, extortion, and many others (Pollock, 2018). It was exciting to become aware of the Zimbardo experiment to know how placing people in absolute power could lead to negative consequences. The author also emphasized specific management practices to decrease misconduct.

It is challenging to overestimate the significance of the course material for my future career. I should not have any doubts regarding whether the state is allowed to implement punishment and how correctional officers perform within the system to perform my professional obligations. Simultaneously, it is important to understand that correctional, probation, and parole officers are subject to misconduct, which adversely affects them and prisoners.

In conclusion, I can state that the learned materials enriched my background knowledge with details. Firstly, I initially knew that probation and parole officers are subject to a conflict of interest while considering their friends’ cases. Secondly, I assumed that providing people with absolute power could be dangerous, and the Zimbardo experiment supported my belief. Thirdly, knowledge from other disciplines is aligned with the fact that correctional officers are often involved in misconduct.


Pollock, J. M. (2018). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (10th ed.). Cengage.

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DemoEssays. "Ethical Dilemmas in Criminal Justice." March 13, 2023.