Ethics in Evaluating Criminal Justice Programs

Topics: Crime, Ethics, Police Pages: 5 (1800 words) Published: June 21, 2009
Ethics in Evaluating Criminal Justice Programs

Ethics in Evaluating Criminal Justice Programs
The basis for the conclusion reached, methods of evaluation, and reasoning, requires ethical guidelines and ethical individuals conducting evaluations of programs. According to Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder ethical reasoning abilities are important for numerous reasons. Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder explain how the majority of individuals “confuse ethics with behavior, in accordance with social conventions, religious beliefs, and the law instead of seeing ethics as a domain unto itself, a set of concepts and principles that guide us in determining what behavior helps or harms sentient creatures” (Paul & Elder, 2003). Another definition of ethics given by Raymond Carey and Emil Poseavac explains ethics in the sense of conducting evaluations as not only “the study of right or wrong conduct but a descriptive discipline, involving the collection of interpretation of data on what people from various cultures believe, without consideration for the appropriateness or reasonableness of those beliefs or the finding of answers to specific questions, determining which is reasonable and therefore people should believe and examining the system or program to appraise the logical foundations and internal consistency” (Carey, 2003). Those conducting evaluations of a criminal justice program should be “kind, open-minded, impartial, truthful, honest, compassionate, considerate, and honorable rather than being; deceitful, vindictive, prejudiced, bigoted, or self serving” (Paul & Elder, 2003). Many organizations or program leaders have according to Ruggiero begun “developing ethical principles to guide the work of those conducting evaluations or research” (Ruggiero, 2004). Ethical issues arising in evaluations of criminal justice programs are numerous and the importance of ethical individuals conducting the evaluation is important for the program and society as a whole. Evaluations of programs assist in recognizing successful tactics and shortcomings in a program as well as ensuring laws and policies are adequate and enforced. Individuals with a vested interest in a criminal justice program are able to make necessary changes and recommend successful practices to others if evaluations are conducted properly. Numerous ethical issues must be explored when conducting evaluations of criminal justice programs. D.A.R.E.

D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), is a program implemented in schools worldwide. Goals of D.A.R.E. involve, “ teaching children the dangers of drugs, alcohol, and gang activity as well as providing the children with the necessary skills to resist other illegal activities” (Drew, 1999). Children become friendly with local law enforcement agents and begin forming bonds of trust leading to cooperation and less chance of criminal behavior from children. D.A.R.E. was started due to the excessive drug abuse and young people becoming targeted by drug dealers at a high rate. Young people today are being introduced to marijuana, hallucinogens, inhalants, tranquilizers, cocaine, meth, and other illegal drugs on a daily basis (Drew,1999). Programs such as D.A R.E. necessitate ethical guidelines for evaluations and reasonable and moral individuals to conduct the evaluations. Ethical Issues Involving Individuals Evaluating D.A.R.E.

Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder discuss problems arising when individuals conducting evaluations in programs such as D.A.R.E. either allows their “egocentric thought to interfere with the manner in which the program is evaluated or of the three modes of character integration the uncritical or self serving critical person conducts the evaluation” (Paul & Elder, 2003). Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder define the many egocentric type of thoughts individuals tend to use when conducting evaluations of a program such as D.A.R.E. Individuals either : “forget evidence which does not support their thinking and remember evidence which...

References: The Need for Ethics Ruggiero: Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues, Sixth Edition ©
The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004
Program Evaluation Methods and Case Studies Sixth Edition, by Emil J. Poseavac and
Raymond G Carey. Copyright © 2003 by Pearson Education, Inc. Prentice – Hall, an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc.
The Miniature Guide to Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning Dr. Richard
Paul and Dr. Linda Elder
Drug Free Workplace America’s Drug Problem Issues Surrounding
America’s drug problems © 1999 Daniel C. Drew Retrieved from http://www.drugfreeworkplace.com/employees/americandrugproblem.htm
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