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Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth.

Ethics in Criminal Justice is an excellent addition to the small number of books that have been published about this important subject. Author Sam Souryal does a good job addressing issues that often are taboo in the field, such as lying, corruption and misconduct.

The book is divided into five chapters, each of which has review questions at the end. The first three chapters provide an overview of the evolution of ethics and the philosophers behind it. Readers with a background in philosophy will find that Souryal provides a clear review of the great thinkers. However, those with little knowledge of philosophy may find these chapters overly academic. The material includes some fresh perspectives on the justice system. I often found myself saying, "I've never thought of it like that."

The book's last two chapters are most relevant to criminal justice practitioners. Souryal uses realistic situations to demonstrate ethical dilemmas that occur frequently. For example, he discusses the ethics surrounding punishment, racism and abuses of power.

The section on ethics in corrections (Chapter 5, Part 2) is of particular interest to corrections professionals. The author forces readers to evaluate current practices in corrections and examine corrections' purpose. Souryal offers an interesting and enlightening ethical perspective. He does an excellent job presenting both conventional and unconventional theories of punishment and avoids framing issues in standard liberal vs. conservative terms.

Overall, Ethics in Criminal Justice is well-written and thought-provoking. Ethics should be an integral component of correctional training, and this book would make a good addition to any academic or training program.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Nagy, Laura E.
Publication:Corrections Today
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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