CRJ 524 Week 4 Discussion 1

CRJ 524: Week 4 Discussion 1 

Ethics In Criminal Justice Policy Making

Chapter 9 in your text details a number of ethical considerations in criminal justice policy making. From the chapter, choose one of the following issues: public opinion about punishment, mandatory minimum sentencing, the “War on Drugs,” truth in sentencing, or sexual predators. Create at least three moral guidelines for the creation of effective criminal justice policies to address your chosen issue.

Guided Response: What is a moral guideline? Whenever you present an analysis, it is always a great idea to define your major terms in your presentations. Begin the discussion with a working definition of a moral guideline, and if necessary, explain that term in light of criminal justice issues. Remember, all policies need to focus on maximum effectiveness for the actions sought.

Review your colleagues’ posts, and substantively respond in a meaningful way to at least two of your peers. Continue to monitor the discussion forum until 5:00 p.m. (Mountain Time) on Day 7, and respond with robust dialogue to anyone who replies to your initial post.

The topic I have chosen to address is mandatory minimum sentencing. This topic I believe is something that has the potential to have a lot of valid points for both sides. This type of sentencing is what I look as a law passed because people are always looking for a quick fix solution to a problem. Every crime is not the same and there should not be a law that is a one stop shop to punish anyone for a crime especially since no two crimes are the same and the circumstances surrounding the offense may play a factor in to why that particular crime was committed. The moral guideline I would suggest when looking at mandatory minimum sentencing is to look at not only the crime but the circumstances around the crime as well.

I understand that breaking the law is the wrong thing to do but we have to factor in why a person committed the crime they have committed. One example I can think of is a person stealing diapers from a store vs a person robbing a bank to steal money to buy diapers from a store. Both crimes are wrong but I would take into heavy consideration on the type and length of punishment that a person would receive if they were brought into a courtroom for stealing diapers. Another guideline I would follow is that we need to make sure that we are fair when it comes to who is being sentenced as far as race. When it comes to police officers and civilians that live in certain areas the police officers can put certain charges on people and not report other charges at the same time.

We need to make sure that the information obtained by the officers are actually true and accurate and that they are not showing any type of favoritism towards any particular group of people. The last guideline I will address is that the mandatory sentencing be on crimes committed on larger scales. An example is a person steals a car and then gets caught. That person should have sentenced accordingly for the crime. On the flip side a group of people have a car theft ring and they have stolen multiple cars. The two examples are in my opinion not on the same level even though they both deal with cars being stolen so they should be given different types of sentencing.


Retrieved from: Banks, C. (2013). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.