Ethical Decision Making Paper
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Every individual view ethics differently. No matter how one may view ethics at the end of the day ethics is a determination of an individual’s own belief of what is right or wrong. According to the Ethics Awareness Inventory (EAI) it is a system for self-assessment and personal reflection. After reading through the assessment, I have found information that I can agree with and that are beneficial to me as an individual. The inventory also increases awareness and encourages self examination and personal ethical growth.
What one may determine to be a right or wrong choice cannot always be a right or wrong choice for another especially within an organization. Even though individuals are suppose to work toward a common goal or purpose in an organization that does not necessarily mean decisions are in everyone’s favor or the most beneficial choice. At some point everyone has had to make some decision whether personal or professional at some time or another. Making a right choice does not necessarily increase the good for the decision maker. I have had to make decisions that did not always have my best interest at the time, but just because it was ethically right to me is why at that time I made that particular decision. Attending the University of Phoenix to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice has matured me in a career path. Criminal Justice has always been a career choice of mine next to psychology, but after having an opportunity to have some of the best and worst professors, I have learned a lot.
Criminal Justice is definitely a place I want to be. Justice to me is fairness and it is what the Criminal Justice System is supposed to offer fairness. Justice to me is also about making a difference between what is ethically and lawfully right or wrong. In the Criminal Justice System fairness is not always a given. There are disparities and discrimination that still exists today within the Criminal Justice System and this should not be. Disparity and discrimination are two major factors in our society. Disparity and discrimination plays and important role in the Criminal Justice system and making ethical and moral decisions. Disparity and discriminations has similarities but also has differences in meaning. Disparity is the absence of equality between two or more individuals or groups of people (Dictionary.com, 2009). According to Dictionary.com disparity’s definition is “lack of similarity or equality; inequality; difference or the state of being different or dissimilar.”
Discrimination is the unequal treatment of individuals because of religion, gender, ethnic background, beliefs, or other factors (Dictionary.com, 2009). Dictionary.com, 2009 describes discrimination as “unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.” Throughout history discrimination happened through segregation of buses, schools, restaurants and other public facilities. There were barriers that blacks faced when dealing with discrimination. Blacks and whites were held to different standards with white being more valuable to society. Not only were whites and blacks treated unequal, women from both races have struggled with being discriminated against. Women faced discrimination of popular belief that they were to stay home, bear children, cook, and clean (Disparity vs. Discrimination, 2006). Disparity and discrimination are often misunderstood. Disparity is believed to be a product of discrimination and starts with the process of arrest all the way to sentencing (Disparity vs. Discrimination, 2006).
For example those who are unemployed are believed to be given fewer leniencies than those who hold jobs (Disparity vs. Discrimination). Women are believed to serve less time than men who commit some of the same crimes. In some instances some areas have racial disparities in some cases of juveniles as well as adult justice. For example, two juveniles, one black and one white are attending a hearing one of the juveniles’ moms is a white stay at home mom who offers to keep an eye on her son if he is allowed to return home whereas the black juvenile has a working single mom and does not get the same options as his white peer (Frontline PBS, 2005). Though the system is not discriminating since there are different circumstances from each individual, however it does create an extreme disparity among the juveniles who get sent home and those who do not. Just like a rural area may be extremely tough on burglaries but lenient on drug charges versus an urban area may be opposite.
These types of inconsistencies will lead other to think that it discriminates and challenge us ethically. The only way to eliminate the chances of discrimination is to make sure the laws are applied equally to all those who break them. Today we would like to say that even though we as Americans have come so far we still have a very long way to go when it come to disparity and discrimination and also between being ethically correct. People come from all walks of life and have different religious, political and cultural differences that impact our decision making. Also our social and educational experiences have impacted my life significantly.
I have always had a strong judgment of moral character of others and I feel as though I have good ethical standards. Being from a metropolitan area that has different views and social status, and also being away from home has had a profound impact on my education and I simply want more for myself. However moving here to Lafayette has exposed me to a difference of opinion. I have been exposed to different ethical views through my professional and educational life. There is always going to be conflict and ethical decision making, however, everyone reasoning and rationale will differ. It is a moral obligation to ones ethical boundaries.
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