PHIL 248 Ethics in Criminal Justice • 5 Cr.


Examines the philosophical, moral, and ethical bases of human behavior from a criminal justice perspective. Students discuss justice, law, and punishment, moral decision-making, and ethical and legal dilemmas in law enforcement. Same as CJ 248. Either PHIL 248 or CJ 248 may be taken for credit, not both.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Identify and explain major moral theories.
  • Explain the concepts of morality, justice and duty and how these are inter-related.
  • Analyze the various ethical dilemmas that confront criminal justice practitioners.
  • Discuss the relationship between police discretion, law-enforcement decision-making and morality.
  • Evaluate the various models of the Criminal Justice process in terms of consequentialist and deontological ethical theories.
  • Do self-analyses based on personal profiles to determine suitability as a police officer.
  • Practice decision-making in situations that challenge their personal and professional values.
  • Manage occupational, often life-shattering situations, in a morally acceptable, legally defensible format.