The purpose of this assignment, and one of the goals of the course, is to get you thinking about ethics as they
relate to yourself and the work you seek to do in the criminal justice system. This assignment provides you an
opportunity to engage in personal self-reflection about your (current and/or potential) role within the criminal
justice system. This will require you to think about ethics as located in the individual, institutional, and
collective and think that ethics is conceived of (in Foucaults terms) as where the self and the collective meet.
The official codes of conduct and rules of professional responsibility are found at the level of the institution and
serve as the floor for professional ethics. As students, you must gain an understanding of your own personal
foundation used to walk on this floor, as well as how the collective sentiments and values and conflict between
groups in society construct the floor. It is your personal foundation that ultimately makes a difference in your
ability to comply with the rules, to question these institutional and collective rules, and support them or choose
to move them change. This is related to your ability to find personal and professional satisfaction and
fulfillment in criminal justice professions. Further, it is an opportunity to imagine and create an aspiriational
structure that will hopefully house your professional growth.
This assignment can be divided into four parts with an introduction and conclusion:
One: Part one should be
approximately three pages.
Two: This section is concerned with values in the institutions of criminal justice. (a) In class, we discussed
various types of the value of justice. Identify and discuss the summon bonum, the core value or type of justice,
of the CJS. Identify how other values of justice intersect or question the summon bonum. (b) Identify a specific
area of the criminal justice system you desire to work in & the values underpinning principles of action in that
area. These can be diverse. (c) Link the summon bonum of the system (identified in part (a)) with the values of
the area you specified in part (b). Are there conflicting values & if so, what values are in conflict? This section
should be approximately three pages.
Three: Discuss the connections between your personal values and what you have declared to be the
foundational values of the CJS in Part One and the area you desire to work in identified in Part Two. Identify
where they interconnect and where they contradict. This description should also include a discussion of your
motivation for becoming a criminal justice professional. In doing so you will draw on the terminology of ethics
(values & their ranking, choice, responsibility, conduct etc) discussed in class and in the textbook/reading. In
this section also include a brief description about what you plan to do when confronted with an ethical dilemma
and how a hierarchical raking of values is necessary to solve it. This should be between three and four pages.
The final part of the assignment asks you to construct a personal mission statement that captures who you are
and how you will strive to work and live as a criminal justice professional. This should include examining or
constructing some guidelines/principles for establishing boundaries with those involved in the criminal justice
workplace such as clients, coworkers, the public, and political bodies that govern the CJS. This should be about
a half to one full page.
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