The Ethical Foundations of Criminal Justice: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Ethical Foundations of Criminal Justice

1st Edition

By Richard A. Spurgeon Hall, Carolyn Brown Dennis, Tere L Chipman

CRC Press

368 pages

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Hardback: 9780849391163
pub: 1999-09-24
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Ideal for anyone involved in the study of criminal justice, this book acquaints students with the philosophical concepts upon which ethical theory is based. It applies these ideas to specific issues and dilemmas within the criminal justice system. Its ultimate goal is to acquaint students with basic concepts of ethics in criminal justice and to train the mind to solve moral issues independently.

The Ethical Foundations of Criminal Justice offers a comprehensive definition of ethics, and elucidates its unique language and logic. The book explores the major ethical theories, with extensive discussion of authorities like Kant, Aristotle, Mill, and Hobbes. Chapters investigate normative ethics, teleological theories, deontological theories, and the alternative theories of ethics.

The author exhibits the practice of these theories in actual matters of rights, the law, and the behavior of the courts. This book addresses ethics in the context of civil liability, police corruption, and abuse of police power, and includes numerous case studies and references to other relevant works. Criminal justice majors, criminology and law school students, and even police academy cadets will find this text an invaluable source of information both for academic studies and real-world applications.

Table of Contents



  • What is Ethics or Moral Philosophy?

    Some Moral Dilemmas

    Ethics and Morality

    Ethics and Law

    Ethics and Social Science

    Ethics and Philosophy

    The Branches of Ethics

    Ethics and Other Academic Disciplines

    The Value of Ethics

    Thematic Continuities

    Perennial Problems and Issues

  • Meta-Ethics: The Language and Logic of Ethics

    Normative Statements

    The Meaning of Ethical Terms


    Moral Reasoning

  • Moral and Cultural Relativism


  • Introduction

    The Nature of Ethical Theory

    Overview of Normative Ethical Theories

    Obligation and Value

  • Teleological Theories of Ethics

    Ethical Egoism


    Assessment of Teleological Theories

  • Deontological Theories of Ethics

    The Divine Command Theory

    Natural Law Theory

    Kant's Ethics

    Ross' Prima Facie Ethics


    Assessment of Deontological Theories

  • Alternative Theories of Ethics

    The Social Contract Theory

    Virtue-Based Ethics

    The Ethics of Love


  • Justice

    Retributive Justice

    Utilitarian Justice

    Contractarian Justice

    Restitutive Justice

  • Juvenile Justice

    The System of Juvenile Justice

    Moral Concepts and Issues in Juvenile Justice

    Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

    Kohlberg's Stages and Juvenile Justice

    Resolving Issues in Juvenile Justice

  • Discretionary Justice

    The Anatomy of Discretionary Justice

    Discretionary Justice and the Police

    Discretionary Justice and Prosecutors

    Discretionary Justice and Sentencing

    Discretionary Justice and Parole

  • Corruption in Law Enforcement

    The Nature and Forms of Corruption

    The Causes of Corruption

    The Consequences of Corruption

    Remedies for Corruption

    Moral Implications

  • The Use of Force in Law Enforcement

    The Problem of Force

    The Moral Justification of Force

  • Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    LAW / Criminal Law / General
    LAW / Forensic Science
    SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology