Constructive Feedback

timer Asked: Nov 25th, 2018
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Question description

You must also read and respond to at least three other students’ papers no later than Sunday 11:59 PM EST/EDT. Your responses must be no less than 100 words each.

Give constructive feedback on submissions that have been posted by your classmates, including factual information and/or subjective interpretations. Remarks can include your opinion(s), but must be based on experience, research, and/or prior learning. Use insight gained from this exercise to enhance your ability to analyze other situations you may encounter.

Running Head: ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION Written Exercise 6: Ethical Oversight in the Criminal Justice Profession CRJ 530 – Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice November 19th, 2018 Dr. Phillip Neely, Jr. ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 2 Abstract All core values that Saint Leo University currently has in place are important values, however when it comes to matters of criminal justice professionals, responsible stewardship is an integral part of ethically decision making. Responsible stewardship is closely tied to integrity, which plays a huge factor for criminal law professionals. Ethical oversight in criminal justice via civilian review boards is a great resource for civilians to optimize and improve our law enforcement. This benefits not only the individual who filed a complaint but the overall community including law enforcement. It helps hold the police department accountable for their actions and gives them the opportunity to fix procedures and forms of policing that has had a negative effect on the community. The following paper is going to discuss the relationship of civilian review boards to ethical oversight in the criminal justice profession and how Saint Leo’s core value of responsible stewardship is tied into this research. [Type here] ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 3 Ethical Oversight in the Criminal Justice Profession What makes someone a good person and how can we strive to be a good person? These are questions that have been a topic of discussion for decades. There are many guidelines, rules and philosophies on how to seek happiness and good within oneself. Kant would answer these questions by saying that we act good because we are obligated to, and it is our duty to do so. According to Kant there are absolute rules that need to be followed regardless of one’s desire to do so, because it is a moral obligation to follow categorical imperative (Banks, 2017). Under the categorical imperative, to act righteous is a universal law that everyone should abide by. Under these circumstances lying is absolutely permitted as it is ethically wrong (Banks, 2017). Kant also believed in the principle that we should treat everyone with respect as everyone has dignity and should not be used to one’s own advantage or selfish need. Under this principle everyone would promote the dignity of others and care of their wellbeing without ever causing them harm (Banks, 2017). Consequential Utiltarians believed that before any action one should consider if it will promote the ultimate good. This act of consequentialism separates each decision on a case by case basis (Banks, 2017). Whether an act produces the greatest good is determined by whether which decision causes more good than bad. Consequential Utilitarians are not necessarily bound by certain rules like the categorical imperative but are more focused on what brings the most pleasure. Combining moral rules with what produces the greatest good is what rule utilitarians believed in. This means that if one is to follow certain moral rules than consequential good things are going to happen. [Type here] ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 4 Responsible stewardship as directed by our Saint Leo University core values, is one’s commitment to care for others and our community. It is a way to use vital resources to conquer personal or community challenges by finding new innovations and solutions to problems. This is the reason behind pushing civilian review boards for ethical oversight of criminal law professionals today. There are several benefits to this process. For one it makes criminal law professionals accountable for their actions. It gives civilians a sense of control of situations, making them feel as though their opinions are heard. Consequently, it helps police departments and law enforcement offices improve their quality of work. Oversight agencies also improve relationships between the community and law enforcement by fostering a health form of communication. It also improves the communities understanding of certain policies and procedures. When the community points out certain problems or concerns with the law enforcement the oversight agencies identifies these concerns and makes recommendations on how to eliminate or resolve these problems in the future (NACOLE, 2016). Additionally, by identifying concerns and suggesting corrective actions oversight agencies can help jurisdiction managing liabilities and lessen the cost of litigations therefore preventing a potential lawsuit (NACOLE, 2016). Oversight agencies also provide mediation processes which benefits both the civilian and the police force. Through mediation civilians can express concerns about a specific police officer in a neutral setting. For officers it has the benefit of understanding civilians mind set and how certain words of actions can affect their perception to the community. Because of oversight agencies public offices will have the opportunity to address an increase in law enforcement accountability and prevent future misconducts (NACOLE, 2016). As we can see there are many benefits to civilian oversight of law enforcement. Most importantly it could change the entire organization structure (Seyffert, 2017). Nowadays [Type here] ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 5 technology is so advanced that anyone can pull out their smartphone and go online and look at public police records, watch local news or see who was arrested over the weekend. Anyone can videotape an arrest, or offenders committing a crime and any time of the day. Combining this with the recent plethora of cases involving police brutality and race discrimination it has become clear that the community needs a change. Law enforcement agencies have been hesitant to comply with these requests for civilian oversight because they feel like it gives civilians the power to make complaints about procedures that they are not familiar with and not understand the complexity of their work. Even though police forces have been able to avoid civilian reviews in the past more and more politicians have pushed for civilian review boards especially in highly populated areas. Today there are 200 oversight boards across the US which is only a small portion compared to the 18,000 police departments across the country (Seyffert, 2017). The onset of the need to get more civilian oversight came from technological advances and social media accesses. Since 2014 smartphones and their ability to capture videos has reported a high number of police officer using excessive force during arrests (Seyffert, 2017). This has put the law enforcement agencies under a microscope. For law enforcement to carry out their job they must have the trust of the community. Without credibility and trust offenders will resist more and use force to resist which than leads to excessive force by the police and the feeling that the police cannot be trusted strengthens. This paper has discussed how responsible stewardship gives the community the ability to use all resources available to optimize community goals. In the case of civilian review boards for criminal justice professionals this would support policing that is community oriented. Civilian oversight consists of people outside of the law enforcement helping police officers become [Type here] ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 6 accountable for their actions and therefor improving the organization and community. These oversight agencies can do more than just file a complaint against an individual police officer but cover other areas of police policies and procedures as well. This gives the community the resource to address issues and concerns to the police force and boost morale and trust. [Type here] ETHICAL OVERSIGHT IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROFESSION 7 References: Banks, C. (2017). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Police National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (2016). What are the benefits of police oversight. Retrieved from: Seyffert, P (2017). Can Professional Civilian Oversight Improve Community-Police Relations? Retrieved from: [Type here]
Running Head: A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS Responsible Stewards: A Vision for Civilian Complaint Review Boards Timothy G. Robinson Jr Saint Leo University 1 A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 2 Abstract To assist in the investigation of civilian complaints against law enforcement officers, many law enforcement agencies utilize civilian-led review boards. This resource is invaluable to the community to help develop positive interactions between the community and the police. This paper will discuss the need for civilian complaint review boards, reasons why review boards do not always work, and how a commitment to the core value of Responsible Stewardship can improve review boards. A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 3 Responsible Stewardship: A Vision for Civilian Complaint Review Boards Law Enforcement Officers, (LEOs) interact with citizens from the community on a daily basis. However there are times those interactions do not go so well, and citizens may not be satisfied with the way they have been treated by the LEO. Any time a citizen files a complaint against an officer, or the officer is suspected of misconduct, a board of civilians known as Civilian Review Boards or Civilian Complaint Review Boards (CCRB) assists the agency with the investigation and if necessary, the discipline of the officer (Pollock, 2017). This paper will demonstrate the need for CCRBs, review some of the criticisms of CCRBs, discuss the need to utilize talent from the community to serve on CCRBs, and finally conclude with a vision for a community effort to form an efficient CCRB. The Function of Civilian Complaint Review Boards According to Pollock, (2017), CCRBs were starting to form in the 1960s. Up until that time, Pollock points out that responding to citizen complaints and disciplining officers for misconduct was the responsibility of the agency. Pollock discusses CCRBs as being independent of the agency, and are designed to weed through complaints to recommend legitimate complaints to be investigated by the agency. Clarke, (2009) argued that CCRBs were established because they were necessary due to the failures of other government officials. Clarke found that law enforcement executives, courts and elected officials were reluctant to address the issue of police misconduct. However, as Clarke points out, the majority of jurisdictions in the United States now have some form of CCRB, so it is a way for the politicians and officials to claim they are doing something about the issue. A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 4 Dunn, (2009) asserts that the main goal of CCRB is to make the public aware of the misconduct of LEOs. Dunn points out that before CCRBs law enforcement agencies had issues with abuse of authority, and use of excessive force, particularly in minority communities. The CCRB, therefore, is a way for the community to hold LEOs and their agencies accountable for any excessive use of force or any police misconduct. However as both Dunn, (2009) and Pollock, (2017) both point out, although CCRBs are involved with the process and have the power to make recommendations, ultimately the authority to fully investigate incidents and make disciplinary decisions still lies with the agency. Reasons to Reform Civilian Complaint Review Boards Clarke, (2009), found that CCRBs are prevalent now because they help satisfy the objectives of the law enforcement agency, government officials, and the general public, however, CCRBs do not adequately address the issues of police misconduct. According to Clarke the reason for this is, despite board recommendations, the discipline is still the responsibility of the agency or the government, and it is rare for offending officers to be disciplined sufficiently. Also, Clarke found that generally, agencies establish CCRBs as the result of pressure from the public due to incidents that have occurred between the public and the police. However, once those issues subside, the government cuts funding. The impression is the CCRB only serves to keep the public happy, but generally does not get to the root causes of the issues, and has no authority to punish officers who have committed misconduct. As a result, this satisfies the objectives of law enforcement and public officials because they can give the impression they are addressing the issue even though the issue is not fully addressed. Banks, (2017) cites procedures of CCRBs as one of the issues that cause some of these boards to fail. According to Banks, most of the CCRBs proceed similar to a criminal model of A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 5 justice but do not have all of the powers inherent of criminal investigations. Jurisdictions will grant some of the powers, but most of them do not have all of the powers that are necessary to conduct a proper investigation and disciplinary proceedings. Furthermore, Banks is another scholar who asserts it is the lack of the authority to discipline, that can cause CCRB’s to be ineffective. The proceedings of a CCRB are also important considerations given by law enforcement when discerning the legitimacy of the CCRB (De Angelis & Kupchik, 2007). According to Pollock, (2007) police unions strongly object to the use of CCRBs. However, in their 2007 study, De Angelis and Kupchik found when the proceedings are executed properly, and the board is not perceived to be biased, rank and file officers do not have an issue with CCRBs. Most officers did not seem to show any signs of lowered morale which is one of the reasons union leaders object to the use of CCRBs according to De Angelis and Kupchik. Responsible Stewardship The Saint Leo University core value, Responsible Stewardship is a calling to serve by utilizing resources to accomplish a goal, (History and Values, n.d). CCRBs do not accomplish their mission because they fail to utilize resources (Clarke, 2009). According to Clarke, the resources often neglected as discussed in this paper, are certain powers, and funding. Also, Clarke points out that members of CCRBs are political appointees, which could mean a board made up of friends of a politician is not the best resource to accomplish a mission. The main mission of the value of Responsible Stewardship is community development, (History and values, n.d). There are some CCRBs that do offer positive ways for the law enforcement agency, and the community to work together to help get to the bottom of the issue, (Bartels & Silverman, 2005). The practice of mediation is a method the CCRB that serves the A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 6 New York City Police Department utilizes where, according to Bartels and Silverman, the offending officer and complaining citizen are brought together to work out the issue. Bartels and Silverman note that most complainants do recognize the necessity for law enforcement and do respect them, so they do not seek strict punishment, rather they would want their concerns heard and addressed. This practice helps all parties involved because rather than cause friction between law enforcement and the community, Bartels and Silverman found the relationship is strengthened. Conclusion Responsible stewardship promotes a spirit of service that requires the proper deployment of resources to encourage community growth. CCRBs are a necessary resource for the community, law enforcement, and government officials. However, since the inception of CCRBs, a number of barriers have hindered their effectiveness in addressing police misconduct. These barriers include reduced funding, lack of true independence, and limited authority. Also, the members of CCRB are usually political employees who may or may not have a calling to serve their community in this critical role, which will also hinder effectiveness. For CCRBs to truly be effective, they must be made up of members from the community who have a calling to serve, and have some credentials to assist them. They should believe in what they are doing and have some background in disciplinary proceedings, and they should be hired, not politically appointed. The government should give the board true independence, possibly even establishing a separate agency, and grant them the authority to make disciplinary decisions. Most importantly, they must be recognized as a valuable asset that is essential to fostering a positive relationship with the community and police. A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 7 A VISION FOR CIVILIAN COMPLAINT REVIEW BOARDS 8 References Banks, C. (2017). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice. (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Bartels, E. C., & Silverman, E. B. (2005). An exploratory study of the new york city civilian complaint review board mediation program. Policing, 28(4), 619-630. doi: Clarke, S. (2009). Arrested oversight: A comparative analysis and case study of how civilian oversight of the police should function and how it fails. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, 43(1), 1-49. Retrieved from De Angelis, J., & Kupchik, A. (2007). Citizen oversight, procedural justice, and officer perceptions of the complaint investigation process. Policing, 30(4), 651-671. doi: Dunn, R. A. (2010). Race and the relevance of citizen complaints against the police. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 32(4), 557-577. doi: History and values (n.d) Saint Leo University retrieved from Pollock, J. M. (2017). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (Ninth ed.). Australia: Cengage Learning.
Running head: CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD Civilian Review Board Charles Cash Saint Leo University CRJ 530 DR Neely November 23, 2018 Running head: CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD Abstract When people are called to service as a police officer they are trained to defend against criminals and protect the citizen in the community. The actions of the police officers in society has come under scrutiny the last few decades and the resolve has developed a review board for their actions. The review board needs to weigh the actions and the views of the public against the officer and come to an understanding. Running head: CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD The job of the police officer is extremely hard and with the right training they are expected to endure the harsh world of crime. The problem with this is what happens when they are subjected to a review board who has no real understanding of the job. The average citizen does not truly understand the inner workings of the police department. The big business is not likely to share how they train or what they do in case of a problem within the company. They have a committee that oversees the issues and creates problem solving solutions. The police department had to do the same to ease the tensions with the public because of the actions of their fellow officers. The real issue was what could be done about how the public viewed the police and also give insight to the actions of police officers. The answer was to create a civilian review board and allow the police and citizens to meet and come up with the solutions to the problems. Formally instituted in 1948, the (CRB) for the Metropolitan Police in the District of Columbia was the first oversight agency developed in this country (Walker, 2000). It was Police Practice and Research: An International Journal 105 comprised of three citizens who reviewed complaints referred by the police chief and offered suggestions on the proper disposition of each case. (Frank V. Ferdik :Jeff Rojek, 2013). How effective would this board be toward the police and what happens when the politicians and police really push for reform of the police departments? When you have an outside source look at how your trained police force is dealing with the public you need to look at why they see what they see. The police department has core values like a college student from Saint Leo or the United States Military. The core values from Saint Leo list a responsible stewardship which means the abundance of resources to share with the public. The United States Navy core values include honor, courage, and commitment. The civilian review board need to use the same theory. We all now that actions have consequences and as a police officer going against the civilian review board it comes into action as well. They should consider a utilitarianism approach as they do not require us to ignore what may be good for ourselves but does require that we extend our concern to others to encompass the good effects overall (Banks, 2017). The members of the board need to consider all actions from all sides and look at the police officer character as well. Police officers are seen people of high character and good judgment. When their actions lead them to a situation that questions this people look at the person and what are like outside the force. Kant states we should always act for the sake of duty because it is the right thing to do (Banks, 2017). What do police officers who serve on the job think about the civilian review board? Is the board really effective when it comes to the public? Generally, police officers are concerned with the notion that allowing citizens to interfere with their work will depress officer morale and reduce agency effectiveness (Goldsmith, 1991). According to Finn’s (2001) study, police officers, sheriffs, and deputies might deny that any misconduct had even occurred, refuse to answer related questions, and may even resist providing needed records while dealing with initial complaints by citizens. Furthermore, when citizens managed to file successfully, complaints were often not investigated in a systematic way, and even if allegations of misconduct were substantiated, discipline was rarely imposed (Walker, 2005). (Heeuk Lee, 2017) When the review board meets they look at everything the police officer has done in their career as well as off duty. The reason for this is simple police officers are held to a high standard Running head: CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD and need to be held accountable for the behavior off duty as well as on duty. What happens when a police officer has an ethical issue on the job and the review board or media gets hold of the information. Everything in the case is reviewed but does this mean the members of the board are held to the same standards. The members of the board who look at the cases against the officer should be held to the same standards we hold the police officer. The members need to have high character as well as model behavior on the job or off. The reason for this is simple how do you judge a person for an action you commit as well. The board needs to be above the standards and be able to judge without feelings. This is hard because we are human as well. We feel for the police officer and the victim but need to separate the two from the situation. The relationship the board has with the police department also has factors when it comes to a review of the police officers. The police administration will push back on the board their objectives and thoughts on how the case needs to be reviewed. Depending on the case will also depend on the outcome. We often wonder why a group of citizens could look at the case and render a decision based on what they read and not their experiences from the job. This is why a board needs to combine with the police department to share the experience side with the outside look at the case. Police civilian review boards are a good ideal because the public needs to step in and regulate the actions of the police at times. The police departments have always been accused of covering something up when it comes to the police officers that do something questionable. The outside set of eyes on the case could allow and non- bipartisan look into the case and allow the ethics and actions of the case be reviewed without prejudice of the department. The backlash against citizen oversight by police unions, police officials and associations, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), continued to limit the viability of citizen review boards. Arguments against oversight included the belief that the police could discipline their own, that corruption was not as rampant as the media led the public to believe (Frank V. Ferdik :Jeff Rojek, 2013). Society today has the capability to record and view the police in social media. This makes it hard to any committee to review the truth behind the actions because the public demands answers. The actions of police officers creating bad press and committing crimes are happening more often than before and when the actions hit the media the public looks for the police to handle the case and hand out justice in the public view. The fact is not every case will make the public happy and the review board will cause some people to lose their job or their freedom. The truth is the job of a police officer is extremely hard and split decisions have a lasting effect both on the police officer and the public. In closing a civilian reviewed board was developed to prevent police departments from causing more harm to the public. Those who serve on this board need to ensure that their integrity and own core values reflect for truth and justice in the eyes of the public. The hardest thing in life to do is judge those when you have not walked in their shoes. The second hardest thing is not to let emotions cloud your judgment as well. This is the biggest challenge for any civilian review board when it comes to law enforcement. CIVILIAN REVIEW BOARD 2 Bibliography Banks, C. (2017). Criminal Justice Ethics Theory and Practices. Sage. Frank V. Ferdik :Jeff Rojek, G. P. (2013). Citizen oversight in the United States and Canada: an overview. Police Practice and Research, 104–116. Heeuk Lee, P. C. (2017). Officer attitudes toward citizen review and professional accountability. International Journal of Police Science and Managment.

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Only issue was the guy's response time which was a bit long, which made me a bit anxious. Reached out to the help desk and they helped me out, turns out the tutors aren't all from US which meant there was a time difference. No issues on the quality.

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