Ethics in Corrections Paper

Ethics in Corrections Paper



September 11, 2017

Kristopher Crowley

Ethics in Corrections Paper

Moral principles that guide a person’s behavior is called ethics. Ethics in corrections are essential to ensure the fair and right treatment of those who enter into the criminal justice system. The criminal justice system is set up to punish criminals who have violated the law and to deter those offenders from recommitting crimes in the future. Although, there are many opinions on whether the determent of offense works, there are many factors to consider as to why the system is or is not working. One being how the prison is running, some are for profit including third parties like Aramark and others are running the federal government. The use of private prisons started to help the federal government cut down on overcrowding. These “contract prisons” now face many other problems such as safety and security issues.

The Department of Justice conducted a study that analyzed data from fourteen “contract prisons” that showed higher rates of assaults, both by inmates on other prisoners and by inmates on staff. Personally, I think that the only way to ensure that these facilities are adequately running is for the government to run them without private “contract prisons.” I feel that ethical violations are occurring because those running the prisons are more concerned with the profit than the amount of responsibility it takes to ensure inmates rights are granted. It is not ethical to completely focus on the profit being made and to compromise the rights that the inmates have. Are the criminals? Should they be punished? Yes, but they are human and have rights just as non-criminals. Inmates should not have to worry about their safety and security while serving time. The inmates should be focused on completing their required treatment, not on being beaten or hurt by other inmates.

I support the phasing out of corporate-run prisons by the Justice Department because I feel that’s the only way to ensure that the rights of inmates are being met is for the DOJ to step in and take back the prisons. The study concludes that prisons ran by the government have less safety and security issues than those ran by third party contractors. The third-party contractors such as Aramark seem only to be concerned with the amount of profit and not the amount of safety and security that prisons are required to have. The private ran prisons are more dangerous places because correctional officers are paid less than those working in public prisons, provide less training, and have higher inmate-to-staff ratios. Although the government is the overseer of operational guidelines, there are still requirements and responsibilities that the contractors running the prisons are not meeting. If the contractors cannot run the prisons as if it was the government themselves then why allow them to do a job that they cannot do correctly?

Community corrections programs to some degree place a burden and risk on communities and citizens, but there are great programs that are available to help those reenter society. I think some programs should not be near communities like programs for sex offenders and drug addicts, as these types of programs allow certain individuals to enter communities that may do more harm to the community then the program will do them good. I feel that all people should be treated equally, but if you committed a crime, no one could pay for what you did but yourself. That’s why I feel that if a correctional officer was to get caught violating the ethical code of conduct that he or she shall be held accountable for their actions. If an officer swears to hold the law up and in return violates them, I don’t feel that officer should have any special privileges because he was a former correctional officer. The officer shall be treated and housed with the other inmates and he or she must follow all rules as would the other criminals.

My opinion on physical punishment relies on my upbringing. My parents were the type that if you were asked once to do something you had better be going to do it or you could expect to get a pop on the behind. I feel that physical punishment can be used to instill good behavior in children because it worked for me. I learned that when I was asked to do something, I better do it and ask questions later. My parents did not beat me, but they did give me a spanking when they felt I was not listening or doing what I was told. I also believe that with my parents keeping me in line, it prepared me for what the future was going to be. There are times that a supervisor at work might ask me to do something I didn’t quite want to do, but through my upbringing, I know that there are consequences if I choose not to meet the request of my supervisor.

My thoughts on my collaborative group’s discussion of the death penalty resulted in the many different opinions and feelings that people have regarding the issue. There are people like myself that feel if a crime is heinous enough and caused a death that that person should also face the death penalty. There was an individual in my group that has religious opinions resulting in one cannot take a life that he or she did not create and that everyone will face judgment one day. I have honestly learned so much about ethics in this class that I am amazed at many unethical behaviors that the world faces daily. I feel that ethics bring a sign of peace to every situation because the best thing to do in every situation is to do what’s morally right.


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Review of the Federal Bureau of Prisonsโ€™ Monitoring of Contract Prisons. (2017). Retrieved 9 September 2017, from

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