Example Of Reflective Journal: Ethics Of Means And Ends Essay
The role of social institutions is to meet the needs of the society. Therefore, the criminal justice system as a social institution should meet the needs of the society for law and order. However, the victory of law and order should be without irresponsible violations of civil liberties and civil rights. Let us consider the war on terrorism. The law provides that the end of preventing terrorist acts come before individual privacy rights, due-process rights, right not to be tortured, and right of association. The question is can torture be justified? According to the crime control approach, the end must be good, the means must be plausible, there must be no other alternative, and the means must not undermine other greater end. Therefore, it seems that this approach justifies torture in order to control terrorist activities. On the other hand, the public service approach ensures: preservation and advancement of democracy principles, places the highest consideration on human life, considers crime prevention as the top operational priority, ensures accountability to the society, commits to professionalism in all aspects of operations, maintains the highest integrity standards and involves the society in the delivery of police services. Thus, torture is not part of this approach. More emphasis is placed on community policing.
The main issue with means end system is that outcome of actions cannot be predicted. Justification of unethical means by arguing that they will result to a good end is dependent on the ability to understand that the means will lead to the desired outcome. Maintenance of law and order in big and complex societies is not an easy task. It requires authorities with the jurisdiction to restrict citizens’ liberties to apply force in order to compel law obedience and sanction those who disobey the law. However, citizens must also exercise their liberties freely. Therefore, the law should allow reasonable exercise of freedoms and liberties when those actions do not pose a threat or harm to others.
Pollock, J. (2013). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Cengage Learning.