A criminal justice researchers’ conduct must be maintained with integrity to ensure the ethical reliability of the criminal justice system’s results.
A criminal justice code of ethics ensures that defendants’ constitutional rights are safeguarded and other research participants are protected from potential harm.
Code of Ethics Conduct
One of the key provisions of a code of ethics stresses that criminal justice researchers must inform all potential participants of the possibility of physical risks as well as possible negative emotional experiences. Invasions of privacy must be avoided by criminal justice researchers.
In addition, members must be especially careful if individuals are, “illiterate, under correctional supervision, minors or have diminished capacity,” suggests the Academy of Criminal Justice Science.
Confidentiality is paramount for researchers to embrace, if they are going to ethically request subjects to divulge information about crime or criminal justice processes. This is essential to ensure the information cannot be legally be used against them.
Without adherence to a code of ethics, neither defendants nor police or prosecutors and even judges would reveal crucial information concerning their work and the criminal justice system.
Unethical researcher conduct can have a crippling impact upon the criminal justice system. A code of ethics must be clear that all researchers have an affirmative obligation to report any unethical conduct undertaken by criminal justice researchers.
All data, information, or analysis obtained in whole or in part through unethical research practices should be avoided, according to the Justice Research and Statistics Association.
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