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Ethics in the Criminal Justice System

Author(s): Scott H. Belshaw, Peter Johnstone, Lee DeBoer

Edition: 2

Copyright: 2020

Pages: 294

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Ethics in the Criminal Justice System explores ideas and information in and around ethical decision making as it pertains to criminal justice. As an edited volume, Ethics in the Criminal Justice System features contributing authors who have provided a varied and challenging palette of offerings from pure philosophy to common sense practical professional advice. Boldly luring readers into fascinating discussions, Ethics in the Criminal Justice System  alerts students to the need for criminal justice practitioners to make informed, ethical judgments.

Ethics in the Criminal Justice System:

  • is practical and interesting. 
  • is stimulating and informative. 
  • is not about absolutes; it is about further questions. 
  • will stimulate students to continue the dialog outside of the classroom. 

“Being ethical pertains to how an individual arrives at conclusions relating to what is right and what is wrong. Individual beliefs vary; therefore, people should attempt to achieve a position that results in fairness and equity within society and respects individual beliefs. Ethical behavior is expressed by an ethos that drives the rationality behind fair, equitable and ethical decision making. Ethics is a matter that should be taken seriously. It is the duty of the criminal justice system to ensure that law and order is maintained and delivered based upon fairness and equity to the benefit of all members of society.” 

-Scott Belshaw and Peter Johnstone

Chapter 1 – Introduction to Ethical Theory and Practice

Chapter 2 – The Importance of Ethics in Criminal Justice

Chapter 3 - Is Acting on Principle the Answer? Immanuel Kant Said Yes

Chapter 4 – Mill: Consequentialism—Considering the Consequences

Chapter 5 – Aristotle:  A Virtuous Man

Chapter 6 – Ethics and the Police

Chapter 7 – Police Deviance

Chapter 8 – Ethics Within the American Judicial System

Chapter 9 – The Rationale of Punishment: Moral Dilemmas, Human Rights, and Capital Punishment

Chapter 10 - Ethical Issues in Probation and Parole

Chapter 11 – Ethical Issues and the Juvenile Justice System

Chapter 12 – Racial Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

Chapter 13 – The Ethics of Criminal Justice Policy Making

Chapter 14 – Ethics and International Terrorism

Scott H. Belshaw

Scott H. Belshaw is currently an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Dr. Belshaw holds a Ph.D. in Juvenile Criminal Justice from Prairie View A&M University. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Social Sciences from the University of Houston-Downtown. He also holds both a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from Houston Baptist University and a Master of Arts in Criminology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Belshaw’s criminal justice experience includes working many years with the Harris County Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department serving as a probation officer, gang intelligence officer, and court liaison probation officer. Dr. Belshaw has published books on organized crime and constitutional law. He has published numerous research articles in criminal justice journals. Dr. Belshaw is currently serving as the Director of the Cyber Forensics Lab at the University of North Texas.

Peter Johnstone

Dr. Peter Johnstone is Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of North Texas and Scholar-in-Residence at the Caruth Police Institute, Dallas. He holds a doctorate in law, an L.L.M. in international criminal law, and an M.A. in history. Peter has worked in universities in the United Kingdom and the United States as a professor and senior administrator. He has published numerous articles and is author of twelve books.

Lee DeBoer

Lee DeBoer holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from University of North Texas-Denton, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice from Texas A&M University-Texarkana, a member of the Texas A&M University System. He is currently ABD (all but dissertation) and working on his dissertation about the effects of student perceptions on the fear of crime regarding campus safety and carrying concealed handguns on a university campus. He is currently a professor of criminal justice at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He also serves as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He has also served as an adjunct professor in criminal justice at Brown Mackie College in Bedford, Texas. He currently serves on the Para-legal Advisory Board at Collin College and serves on the Interdisciplinary Committee on Race, Poverty and Crime at Collin College. He continues to serves as faculty advisor for the Gamma Alpha Epsilon American Criminal Justice Association student organization at Collin College. He also served as a legal studies instructor for Frisco I.S.D. at their Career and Technical Education Center instructing high school students in criminal justice studies. Prior to entering academia, Lee DeBoer served as a Master Peace Officer for the City of Pittsburg and the City of Farmersville in the State of Texas. During his tenure working in the City of Pittsburg, He worked in criminal investigations, inventory of criminal evidence, and Uniform Crime Report statistics reporting.

Understanding ethics in the criminal justice system is critically important given the amount of discretionary behavior that is present across our system of justice. It is also a course aht is often overlooked in our core curriculum, and as a result this book can put an end to that. The authors are able to explain the complexities of ethical decision making in an enjoyable and easy to understand way. They challenge students to develop their own critical thinking skills by having them question their own decision-making processes and illustrate ethical issues all across the criminal and juvenile justice system.
- Nicole Leeper Piquero, The University of Texas at Dallas

Belshaw, Johnstone, and DeBoer have done something rare and special here: they have created an exceptionally readable book about ethics in the criminal justice system - a subject fundamental to a rigorous criminal justice education. Ranging from discussions of Kant to police deviance, from Mill to capital punishment, and from Aristotle to Hulk Hogan, this book challenges readers to think harder about their own attitudes about crime, its enforcement, and how (and why) we punish it.
- Travis C. Pratt, University of Cincinnati

Related ISBN's: 9781524987503, 9781792419935

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