Police Ethics In Criminal Justice

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Police Ethics in Criminal Justice

Police Ethics in Criminal Justice

Explain the "Slippery Slope" and its relationship to gratuities in detail, using examples

Police corruption is undeniably a serious problem. Some police departments have become so riddled with corruption that the public comes to see every police officer as bent. This slide into serious corruption is seen by Sherman and many others as a "slippery slope."

Slippery slopes are slopes that do have boundaries between cases, unlike logical slippery slopes. However, psychological slippery slopes are based on the proposition that human beings have a tendency to extend boundaries, and if an absolute proposition is converted to one that is any way flexible, then, human nature, being what it is, will extend that flexibility to its absolute limits.

The application of this type of slippery slope argument to the issue of police corruption is fairly obvious. If certain practices at the "top" of the slope are allowed (such as the acceptance of the free cup of coffee), there will be a tendency for police officers to go on to other less acceptable practices as they slide down the slope, until eventually police officers engage in wholesale extortion, burglary, and drug dealing. Perhaps the most significant difference between this type of argument and the logical slippery slope argument is that the proponents of this type of argument do not have to concede the dubious point that the practices at the top of the slope are in themselves unacceptable.

However, that there are still at least three problems with the psychological slippery slope argument. The first is that, despite the anecdotal evidence, there is no real proof that the acceptance of gratuities leads to corruption. Moreover, if, as Richard Kania suggests, (9) it is true that the acceptance of gratuities is a social norm for police, then it should surely be no surprise if the few corrupt police who have told their stories actually engaged in the practice. I am sure that these corrupt police officers also arrested and interviewed suspects, typed reports, investigated crimes, and so forth, but no one has ever suggested that these practices lead to corruption.

Discuss each of the theories regarding public corruption that have offered the society-at-large hypothesis, the structural or affiliation hypothesis, and the rotten apple hypothesis

Corruption is so widespread in bureaucracies that it can be regarded as normal. Attempts at control often become part of the malpractice. The question ...
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