Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 8


Define the nature of the central ethical issue and distinguish it from the other ethical issues in the case study.
What should Sheriff Ship do about the prostitution activity in Washington County? Sheriff Ship is faced with a dilemma. He wants to rid the county of prostitution. He is in a political climate that is calling for action against prostitution.He is restricted, by Washington law, to proving that prostitutes actually engaged in a sexual act to gain a conviction. He has a formal complaint regarding the policy of having officers engage in sexual acts with prostitutes. He is conducting his own investigation of that policy. Sheriff Ship must find the best course of action that will deal with the prostitution activity. Should police officers engage in illegal activity to uphold the law? The ethical issue here is that police officers swear to a Code of Ethics as part of their hiring process. Within that Code of Ethics they swear to be honest in both their personal and professional life, and to be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land. Who, and under what circumstances, decides when it is okay for police officers to break the law? Does breaking the law make the officers unethical? Does the failure of Washington County's laws give police permission to break the law? Does breaking the law by police officers give them an attitude that they are above the law? Does the criminal activity of the police, in prostitution arrests, undermine the credibility of the entire department? Does the illegal activity by police officers constitute entrapment? Is it possible to change the county laws to allow prostitution to be eliminated without the officers engaging in sex? Should police officers be put in situations where their health is at risk? It is obvious that police officers are put in dangers way as a regular part of their job. Should they be required to have sex with prostitutes, which could subject them to untold diseases that could destroy them and their families health? Would we require them to run into a burning building? Would we require them to handle toxic chemicals? Would we require them to jump into a flooded river to save someone? Who decides, and under what circumstances do we put officers health in jeopordy? Should internal police affairs be kept private? Sheriff Ship has received a formal complaint from an officer regarding his policy on sex with prostitutes. Ship is in the process of conducting an internal review of the policy and the circumstances of the complaint.That complaint has been leaked to a political candidate. That candidate, Mary Lewis, wants to meet with the Sheriff to "get ahead of the issue". Is it ethical for the officer's complaint to be leaked? Is it ethical for Ship to meet with a political candidate about internal issues, especially before his investigation is complete?

Should prostitutes be prosecuted for sex crimes or should the other issues they face be dealt with first? Prostitutes are frequently drug addicted, homeless, runaways, battered, illegal immigrants or victims of human trafficking in sex trades. Is prosecution the best way to deal with their situation? Would human services and counseling be more appropriate? Does an arrest and a prison sentence offer the deterrence to keep them from sex work? Are there other means to regulate them other than by arrest? How does the prostitute's arrest address the customers demand for prostitution?

The central ethical issue; What should Sheriff Ship do about prostitution activity in Washington County? will most likely involve consideration of some, if not all, of the other ethical issues. His main focus is on stopping prostitution. To determine how to do this he has to consider the legality and ethics of his officers engaging in sex, what is the best solution to stopping prostitution?, the health ramifications, what other means are available(changing the laws), and the privacy issues of his department.

II. Research
www. nvccjtc.org.nvccodeofethics.html This link is the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center's Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. All law enforcement agencies have adopted the Code of Ethics. The pertinent information here is that all cadets are given this on the first day of training. They are required to memorize it and it is frequently discussed during their training. Before graduation they are required to go before a board and recite the Code and answer questions about it demonstrating their complete understanding of it. Adherence to the Code is highly emphasized. In the code it states, " I will be honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life. I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land...".To an officer, who has sworn to uphold this oath, breaking the law to uphold the law must present a moral dilemma. http://legalworkshop.org/2010/02/24/breaking-the-law-to-enforce-it-undercover-police-participa tion-in-crime This link discusses the practice of law enforcement engaging in criminal activity to uphold the law. She defines authorized criminality as "the practice of allowing covert police officers to engage in conduct that would be criminal outside of the context of an investigation". She goes on to say that although it is widely used there is little guidance or regulation on its use. She feels that the lack of regulation conflicts with the issues of police discretion, transparency and the moral

authority of police. She feels that the lack of transparency foments public distrust and can breed abuse of the law. Few legal restraints give law enforcement a wide range of latitude with little recourse. Committing crimes causes moral uncertainty within officers often leading to other abuses. She concludes that even the appearance that police are above the law is troubling www.fbi.gov/publication/leb/1999/aug99leb.pdf In this article, the author examines the moral and ethical issues of a "noble" end justifying an illegal means to achieve it. He states "When officers use unlawful means to gain a desired end, they damage the system they represent. Beyond the damage to the justice system, however, officers who engage in illegal behavior denigrate not only the uniform of the guardian but also the individual within. The eventual result to society is a loss of confidence in those charged with the protection of others." He also quotes Nietzsche's admonition that "whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster". www.wmich.edu/destinys-end/paradigms.htm The author takes a long hard look at prostitution. He makes the point that arrests and prosecutions of prostitutes far outweigh those of their clients. As long as the majority of customers stay outside of prosecution controlling the industry holds little promise. He discusses a policy of "rescue rather than enforcement" where social programs are geared toward providing health care, interventions and preventions rather than prosecutions. He also examines decriminalization and using less harsh laws like zoning to control prostitution.

http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/local/cop_suspension_case_testimony_takes_lurid_t urn_in_response_to_blunt_questions_08-21-2008.htm?showFullArticle=y This article discusses a case in Louisiana where a police lieutenant directed another officer to have sex with prostitutes to make a case for their conviction. The Police Chief suspended the officer on learning of his behavior and denied that he had been ordered to have sex. Some of the issues that arose were the officers fidelity to his wife, his morality and family values, his judgment, and the perception of the public of his actions. www. aele.org/pobr-iacp.pdf This article discusses a "Bill of Rights" covering police officers. It has been introduced to both Houses of Congress but has yet to pass. At the time of the article, seventeen individual states had fashioned their own versions, including Florida, and ten more were in the process. Two points from this article related to our test case. First, Officers were required to report misconduct within their department at the threat of disciplinary action. Second, Officers were guaranteed confidentiality during investigations until a final determination had been made. Deputy March, therefore, was bound to report his complaint and had an expectation of confidentiality.

III. Analysis.
Shareholder Options Maintain Present Policy Deputy March Prostitutes Police Department Acting Illegally Lack of Public Conf Residents County Moral Dilemma No Trust in Police Sheriff Ship Unrest in Department No Publ Cf Lack of Leadership Restore Morale Public Confidence Shows Leadership

Moral Stress from Dilemma Possible Stress Arrest Unhappiness Social Stigma Moral Dilemma Removed Possible Conflict with other Officers

Suspend Present Policy Push for new Laws

Stress from Possible Arrest Social Stigma

Restore Morality Restore Public Confidence

Remove Moral Dilemma Restore Confidence in Police

Change Emphasis from Prosecution to Treatment Suspend Policy. Use Arrested Johns For Undercover Combination of Options 2,3,4

Moral Dilemma Removed Possible Conflict Dilemma Removed Possible Conflict Dilemma Removed Possible Conflict

Treatment Happiness Social Stigma Removed Stress Fear of Arrest Stigma Treatment Happiness Fear of Arrest

Morality Restored Public Confidence

Moral Long Term Solution Conf in Pol

Restore Morale Public Conf Leadership

Morality Restored Public Confidence Morality Restored Public Confidence

Morality Restore Restore Morale Confidence Public Conf in Police Leadership Morality Restore Restored Morale Public Public Conf Confidence Leadership

Sheriff Ship must make a decision on his Departments policy for dealing with prostitution. At stake for him are his reputation, his Department's morality and morale, public confidence, and successfully dealing with the prostitution issue. He can stay with the present policy, transfer Deputy March and deal with the public trust issue. He can suspend the present policy, push for new legislation that won't involve his Officers having sex(arresting johns for example), and keep March in Vice. He can suspend the present policy and shift the focus from prosecuting prostitutes to treatment by Health and Human Services. He can suspend the present policy, use arrested johns for undercover work (much like in drug arrests) and keep March in Vice. He can take a blended approach and suspend the present policy, push for new legislation, start treatment and services for the arrested prostitutes, and use arrested johns for undercover work.

IV. Application
Part I: Act Utilitarianism, first developed by Jeremy Bentham, is a consequential theory that believes that all acts should be determined by choosing the one that brings the most amount of happiness to the greatest number of people. Bentham originally had used the word satisfaction, which he equated with pleasure, instead of happiness. John Stuart Mill, one of Bentham's followers, later changed satisfaction to happiness because he felt that Bentham hadn't taken into consideration life's deeper feelings. Happiness later came to mean good. Utilitarians believe that happiness, or good, is the central value that drives humans. They believe that happiness can be measured in every action by the arithmetic of total happiness minus total unhappiness yielding a net utility. Those acts that result in a high net utility, the most happiness for the most people, are considered moral ones. In act utilitarianism, an individual may sacrifice himself if it results in good for the larger group. The central ethical issue in this case study is "What should Sheriff Ship do about the prostitution activity in Washington County? Sheriff Ships options are listed in the Analysis chart under options. The people affected by Ships decisions are listed next to shareholders on the Analysis chart. I have chosen a happiness scale from -10 to 10. I will assume a county of 5000 residents and 50 prostitutes. After weighting the numbers (stakeholder multiplied by the number in that group), Option 5 has the highest net utility. By choosing Option 5, a blended solution, Sheriff Ship is able to produce the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people. Following this option will bring back the respect of the citizens, allow for treatment of the prostitutes, while still prosecuting them by moral means. The Sheriff will have shown leadership skills and wisdom. His Vice Officers will be able to adhere to their code of ethics. Deputy March's moral dilemma will be resolved, although, he may still face problems with the other officers. The residents will have an ethical Sheriff Department of which they can be proud , the knowledge that they are supplying treatment to needy citizens, while fighting crime and cleaning up their community.

Net Utility Chart Deputy Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4 Option 5 -10 +5 +5 +5 +5 Prostitutes -10 -10 +10 -10 +5 Department Residents -10 +5 +5 +5 +10 -10 +5 +5 +5 +10 Sheriff -10 +5 +5 +5 +10

Part II. Contractarianism is the non-consequential theory put forth by John Rawles. Rawles
believed that fairness is the central value that drives humans. In his theory he tried to balance human's self interest against their desire for fairness. He borrowed concepts from many other ethical theories. Rawles envisioned an imaginary meeting wherein an ideal society would be formed. His theory is characterized by three components: the Primary Goods, The Veil of Ignorance and the Three Principles of Justice. His Primary Goods were rights and liberties, powers and opportunities, income and wealth, and self respect; values that all people would want for themselves. The Veil of Ignorance was his method of removing self interest from the equation, whereby, if someone didn't know which party they were in a situation, they would come up with a solution that was more fair to everyone involved. His Three Principles of Justice were guiding principles designed to give the most rights, liberties and opportunities to everyone involved, making sure that the least advantaged got the greatest possible benefit when things couldn't be equal. The central ethical issue in this case study is "What should Sheriff Ship do about the prostitution activity in Washington County? Sheriff Ship's options are listed in the Analysis chart under options. The Veil of Ignorance allows us to examine solutions from each of the stakeholders points of view. Sheriff Ship, the sheriff's department, the Residents of the County, and Deputy March all pretty much have the same desired results. They want the prostitution problem dealt with in a moral fashion, that maintains the integrity of the department. The prostitutes want to be able to earn a living and to be free of arrest and prosecution The Primary Goods of all stakeholders must be considered when choosing an option. Option 5 seems to be the fairest in that it stops the Deputies from having to act immorally, it addresses the illegal act of prostitution through new laws, prosecution and treatment , and it enables Ship to show leadership, maintain morale and restore public confidence. The prostitutes are acting illegally and to many immorally. They are the least advantaged party in this situation. Their illegal activities can't be accepted by

society. They are being given the chance to receive treatment for their addictions, legal and other problems and Human Services to help them get out of the life they are in and become moral, law abiding citizens of the County.

V. Decision Making
What should Sheriff Ship do about the prostitution activity in Washington County? Sheriff Ship is faced with an ethical decision on how to deal with the prostitution problem in his County. He has received a formal complaint about his policy from Deputy March. He is being pressured by politicians to crack down on the crime. He faces a morale problem among his deputies. He faces a possible lack of public confidence in his department due to their unethical and possibly illegal activity. He risks his deputie's and the public's trust in his leadership. Research has shown that law enforcement officers are sworn to a code of ethics that require them to act in an honest manner and obey all of the laws . Using unlawful means to obtain a noble end damages the system and the individual. Authorized criminality can lead to public distrust, abuse of the law, and an appearance that police are above the law. The arrests of prostitutes without a corresponding arrest of the customers does nothing to stem the demand for this illegal act. A program of prevention based on health care, intervention and social programs holds promise for ending the supply of prostitutes. A policy of officers having sex with prostitutes exposes them to health risks, brings up issues of fidelity, family values, morality and judgment, and the public's perception of them. The application of the two ethical theories both yielded the same result. Sheriff Ship should take a blended approach to solving his problem. He should suspend the current policy immediately and promote new laws that don't require his deputies to act unethicaly or illegally. Among those should be laws that control prostitution without incarceration. He should change the emphasis from prosecution to treatment. Addressing the addictions, health and mental needs of the prostitutes will have more deterrent than an arrest. He should use arrested johns for undercover work where possible. This would be a double edged sword in that it attacks both sides of the prostitution problem, the supply and the demand.

VI. Evaluation.
1. This option is too expensive. Costs need to be weighed against the cost to society of allowing the present policy to continue. The unethical behavior of the officers is detrimental to their family life, their health and their long term morality. Having prostitution flourish is bad for society and promotes other illegal activity. Prostitutes have health, mental health, and other issues that need to be addressed. Illegal activity by the department will lead to public distrust.

2. It will take too long to see results from this option. It is true that it will take time to write and pass new laws, develop programs to treat the prostitute's issues, and start a new undercover program. Once these new programs are initiated the end results will make the time necessary well spent. Time can't be the primary concern when you are dealing with these ethical issues, as the new policies are designed to affect generations to come. 3. Prostitutes are criminals and don't deserve this option. As the contractarian theory showed the most disadvantaged in our society should derive the most benefit when things can't be totally equal. Prosecution has proven over and over to be at most a temporary solution to prostitution. Usually it just inconveniences and displaces the prostitutes. A program of treatment and social services has the potential to retrieve thses members of society back from a life of crime. 4. The majority of the residents support the current policy therefore it should remain unchanged. The residents perhaps don't understand all of the issues involved in the current policy. If asked if they support the current policy a majority might say yes. If asked if they support a policy that requires officers to behave un-ethically, puts their health at risk, jeopardizes their family life, and demoralizes the department how would they answer?. If they were told that the current policy doesn't deter prostitution or treat any of the underlying problems, how would they answer? If they were told that a different policy that addressed all of the issues was available, how would they answer?