Ardmore Prison is facing several ethical concerns. There is a poor relationship between the correctional officers and prisoners, which compromises the anticipated behavioral change. It is a moral expectation for correctional officers to help the inmates to reform accordingly. Duffy, however, enforces strict measures that strain the relationship between the officers and inmates. It is at least expected that the convicts will live in isolation as Duff requires; instead, the officers should develop functional interactions to enable the incarcerated individuals to appreciate the value of character modification.
The enforcement of discipline is extreme. Despite the criminal backgrounds of the prisoners, they deserve a fair treatment. Although the inmates lack some of the fundamental human rights; they are entitled to humane treatment, and too many restrictions make them hostile. The stringent measures of dealing with perceived indiscipline are unethical. The zero tolerance for indiscipline policy is appropriate only if there is proper interaction between the warders and inmates. Consequently, the retaliation of the prisoners is an expression of the inhumane nature of the punishment attached to the zero-tolerance rule.
Ethical issues revolve around human actions and the aspect of free will. Duffy should have employed a broad view of the effective ways of managing the facility and achieve the set objective appropriately. The purpose of incarceration is to facilitate the rehabilitation of the convicted persons. Therefore, Duff should have applied moral reasoning in running Ardmore Prison. Anderson and Ichiho (2017) suggest that officers in the criminal justice system should rethink their operations and act appropriately to make it ethically responsible. Nonetheless, Duffy should have fostered positive working relationships between the officers and the inmates.
If I were the correctional officer who was hit with the bread slice, I would have reported the incident to my supervisor. The decision to report lawlessness is an ethical dilemma by itself (Pollock, 2019). The act of throwing bread on the back of the correctional officer is symbolic and communicates a lot about the state of affairs in the facility. I would have regarded the act as an indication of displeasure on how we treat the inmates. Anderson and Ichiho (2017) assert that the criminal justice department fails to meet the expected standards. Thus, it was appropriate to spot the signal and forward it for processing.
The correctional officers have the mandate to protect both their lives and those of the inmates. Accordingly, the action of the inmate could lead to advanced harassment gradually, and hence, the need to report to my supervisor. The management of rudeness constitutes an ethical concern for members of the criminal justice department (Pollock, 2019). Therefore, as a strategy to restore positive working relationships between the officers and the prisoners, reporting such minor incidences can be useful in identifying the factors that strain the interactions. Therefore, the officer in the dilemma acted appropriately by reporting the matter, even though it led to undesirable outcomes.
Duffy’s reaction was responsible for the hostility of the inmates, as evident through the lengthy riots. The two-month solitary confinement was inappropriate for the minor incident that only signaled the need to relook into the management of the prisoners. Members of the criminal justice department have a moral obligation to promote fairness (Fish, 2018). However, the treatment of the inmates in the aftermath of the minor indiscipline case of the inmate was an expression of social injustice. Notably, depriving the inmates their privileges and subjecting them to harsh punishment was unethical, as well as considering the fact that it proved futile.
Anderson, V., & Ichiho, R. (2017). Reforming the criminal justice system – An ethical leadership approach. International Journal of Public Leadership, 13(2), 64-75. doi:10.1108/IJPL-10-2016-0035
Fish, E. S. (2018). Against adversary prosecution. Iowa Law Review, 103(4), 1419-1481.
Pollock, J. M. (2019). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.