Ethics in the Workplace: Correctional Facilities

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Correctional facilities can prevent unethical behavior in the workplace by hiring people whose primary motivation is not personal gain, giving satisfactory wages, encouraging workers to develop professionally, training staff sufficiently, implementing an ethics code, rewarding positive changes, punishing violators of ethics, and adopting external review processes. Although ethical frameworks have significantly affected the workplace, individuals continue to demonstrate unethical behavior due to various reasons. First, correctional officers want to achieve personal gains; for example, cutting staff salaries and giving inmates less food.

Second, employees exhibit official deviance by disregarding the formal rules of the organization. Third, noble cause corruption may motivate correctional workers to be ethical. In this context, this form of corruption thrives since clients are powerless and the environments are not under public watch. Finally, negative subcultures could make workers in correctional surroundings behave unethically. Importantly, prosocial values, traditions, and personal norms greatly influence how a person behaves in the workplace. This paper discusses three ethical situations correctional officers face, describes three strategies workers can utilize to handle the problems, and analyzes three codes of ethics that are critical in promoting ethical practices.

Ethical Situations/Problems

War on drugs is one of the major issues affecting correctional officers in the modern-day workplace. In the recent past, there has been so much attention on drugs in prisons. That notwithstanding, there has been less focus on drug treatment and prevention of substance abuse. Consequently, correctional workers over-incarcerate minor offenders in prisons. It is critical to state that some officers retreat from this noble war since they think they cannot win. As an illustration, some workers think imprisoning cannabis users is not resourceful since some states have legalized its consumption for medical and recreational purposes. While a few staff could think imprisoning drug and substance abusers is ethical, others may view this as unethical because it is both a state and national menace.

Corruption is another major ethical problem correctional staff encounter in the workplace. When prisoners smuggle items that authorities prohibit, they must get assistance from guards. In many situations, leaders of prison criminals give correctional employees bribes to allow them to take outlawed materials to inmates. Since this act does not involve victims, it greatly influences prison officials to participate. Another form of corruption could encompass a male worker exchanging trade privileges with sex among inmates.

Correctional officers often find themselves in ethical situations involving unequal treatment of offenders. While some prisoners could be angry, less likable, and violent, others may be charming, more likable, and nonbelligerent. These contradictions of characters may result in workers offering unequal treatment.

Workplace Strategies

Ethical frameworks should guide the leadership of correctional facilities to motivate staff to exhibit ethical behaviors and prevent or handle ethical problems in the workplace. At the core of comprehending ethical systems are the roles of deontological and teleological philosophical foundations in shaping the moral behavior of people. From a deontological viewpoint, a person focuses on the morality of an act rather than its consequences. On the other hand, an individual subscribing to teleological ethics prioritizes the outcomes of an act instead of its rightness or wrongness.

Facilities can handle the war on drugs problem by promoting professionalism that encompasses particular training and development to allow staff to make better choices. Frequent training will enable staff to learn what is ethical and immoral when handling the problem of drugs in prisons. In addition, facilities can implement policies to guide staff to sufficiently and ethically prevent issues arising from the war on drugs.

Prisons should encourage staff, inmates, and other persons witnessing corruption in the workplace. The management should institute effective mechanisms supporting reporting bribing. As an illustration, the leadership should not victimize people who report corruption. Rather, persons should be free to access means of reporting and talk about this unethical behavior without fearing consequences.

Finally, prison facilities can prevent unequal treatment by promoting professionalism among workers. For example, management teams should continually expose personnel to training and skill development training. Such drills will adequately prepare staff to handle issues that arise from situations that could result in unequal treatment of inmates.

Codes of Ethics

The first important code of ethics that can uphold ethical practice is the principle prohibiting members from accepting gifts and favors at work. When they desist from taking gifts and accepting favors, they can perform duties consistent with professionalism and personal obligations. The second most vital code of ethics encourages individuals to keep away from informal contracts that could present a conflict of interest. This code of ethics considerably allows members to perform duties that are in line with professionalism in the context of correctional services. Finally, the principle that requires persons to report unethical behavior to the management can promote ethical practices. If individuals feel at liberty to notify the leadership of prisons of immoral practices, they can be at the forefront of promoting good governance and ethical delivery of services.


Ethical frameworks in the correctional workplace help employees to reflect and adhere to ethics. In addition to offering detailed processes, philosophical touchstones assist correctional officers in finding solutions to various ethical dilemmas they encounter. Some of the problems correctional officers face include the war on drugs, corruption, and unequal treatment of inmates. The three most critical codes of ethics prohibit personal gains, promote professionalism, and encourage persons to report unethical practices.

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BusinessEssay. "Ethics in the Workplace: Correctional Facilities." January 28, 2023.