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Reputable Conduct: Ethical Issues in Policing and Corrections. (Book Review).

Reputable Conduct: Ethical Issues in Policing and Corrections by John R. Jones, Prentice Hall Canada Career and Technology, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, 1998.

Why did a law enforcement officer in a large metropolitan police department brutalize a suspect? Why did it take several days for his colleagues to admit to witnessing the event? Such questions lead officers to ponder their moral duties and obligations, known generally as ethical considerations, as they relate to the law enforcement profession.

Some of the hardest decisions law enforcement officers make during their careers involve ethical issues. As a result, the actions taken to resolve these issues play a vital role in defining officers throughout their careers.

John R. Jones wrote Reputable Conduct as a working text on ethics for students pursuing law enforcement careers. As such, the book is well organized and easy to read. It keeps with the author's initial assurance that it is not intended to act as an ethics instructor with boundless knowledge, but rather as a learning aid that facilitates the ethics learning experience. In a light-hearted, yet thorough, review, Jones examines the law enforcement subculture, the ethical dilemmas facing law enforcement officers, and the ethical decision-making process.

The author begins the book by reviewing the role of the ethics instructor and the purpose of teaching ethics. He then follows with a discussion concerning the philosophical question of whether ethics can be taught.

At the heart of his book, Jones explores the subculture of law enforcement, placing special emphasis on the law enforcement loyalty phenomenon and its effects on law enforcement ethics. He accentuates this controversial topic with anecdotes from his interviews of law enforcement officers.

One highlight of Reputable Conduct is the chapter "Tools for Moral Decision Making" in which Jones introduces several practical ideas and suggestions designed to assist law enforcement officers in resolving ethical issues. As illustration, the author provides an ethical decision-making scenario at the end of the chapter that allows the reader to apply the book's ideas and suggestions.

Jones dedicates his final chapters to practical exercises and an examination of the attributes of a reputable law enforcement officer. The practical exercises outline eight ethical dilemmas with challenging follow-up questions. The author then analyzes the ethics-related areas of moral courage, professional conduct, critical thinking, and public trust.

In Reputable Conduct, Jones provides a well-researched and thought-provoking text that, through its organization, detail, and graphic examples, is an easy read and a remarkable learning experience. Jones' humor, candid illustrations, and expertise make Reputable Conduct an excellent text for both law enforcement students and instructors.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Burke, Stanley B.
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 2001
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