The Criminal Justice Service Violations and Ethical Issues

Table of Contents

Ethical Failures and Shortcomings

The section provides an overview of major violations and ethical issues that occur among criminal justice professionals. Kania and Davis (2015) define seven categories of such misconduct that frequently happen among criminal justice officers. These ethical failures include personal gain pursuit, bias and favoritism, deceitfulness, personal life flaws, abuse of power, neglect of duties, and due process denial (Kania & Davis, 2015). Such acts of immoral or illegal behavior undermine the reputation of the agency and provoke mistrust in society, so it is the primary objective of criminal justice managers to identify, mitigate, and prevent them.

Ethical Problems Overview

Personal material gain is a grave issue that frequently occurs in the area of criminal justice and undermines the fairness of the procedures. Such failures go beyond ethical concerns, as some cases involve bribery and excessive gains that are severe violations of law. When such occurrences take place within an organization, they should be addressed immediately. Favoritism often occurs when friends, family members, and peers are involved in a criminal justice process. Ideally, these issues should be prevented by criminal justice managers to avoid the possibility of misconduct. The abuse of power in criminal justice departments has often been reported, which places the reputation of the agency at stake. Avoidance of harassment, coercion and unjustified denial of liberty is necessary to avoid public discredit.

Deceitfulness is another issue that sabotages trustworthy relationships with publicity. All the agency’s activities should be transparent without secrecy, lying, or covering up the uncomfortable questions. Moreover, civil justice professionals should remember that they are the representatives of the state and behave according to legal and moral norms. They should bear responsibility for their personal lives and avoid such as civil illegality, tax evasion, or sexual impropriety. Criminal justice staff should be incessantly trained and supervised regarding their procedural correctness and duty performance, as the neglect of duties and due process denial are unacceptable ethical issues.


The mission of each criminal justice professional is to serve society with honesty and dignity. However, many staff members fail to conform to moral and legal norms and become involved in acts of criminal, civil, or ethical misconduct of different severity. These cases pose a threat to the image of the criminal justice service and undermine trustworthy relations with society. Thus, the mission of civil justice managers is to detect acts of misbehavior, report them, and ensure that they will not recur.


Kania, R., & Davis, R. P. (2015). Managing criminal justice organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Routledge.

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