Leadership in Education, Corrections and Law Enforcement: A Commitment to Ethics, Equity and Excellence: Volume 12


Table of contents

(20 chapters)

The topic of ethics and ethical behavior has existed for centuries. Many disciplines (e.g., medicine, law, educational leadership, law enforcement, etc.,) believe that Socrates was the first philosopher to delve into the issue of ethics. As society has evolved, the questions and concerns that involve ethics and ethical behavior have grown more difficult to address. Ethical standards have become both more complex and scrutinized by the public than at any other time in history. Therefore, leadership personnel across an array of disciplines must carry out tasks assigned to them while the rules and laws constantly change and their freedom to perform the necessary tasks becomes obstructed. For example, citizens expect educators in public schools, correctional facilities, and law enforcement officials to operate in an efficient and professional manner without expressing personal views and emotions. To accomplish this, these professions must have a strict and unwavering adherence to a code of ethics, a code of conduct, remain ethical, a commitment to issues of equity and excellence, and conduct themselves accordingly at all times, both on and off duty. The law enforcement code of ethics and the police code of conduct represent the basis for ethical behavior in law enforcement. The same applies to educational leadership and correctional education. However, these codes simply constitute words. For them to be effective, leaders in these professions must not only believe in the codes but also follow them and display conduct that supports them. Thus, these leaders must live the code.

Law enforcement ethics training has focused traditionally on the development of moral character (see, e.g., Josephson, 2009). This approach is based on the idea that offices imbued with the proper moral values will do the right thing regardless of the circumstances or situational pressures. While good character is clearly important, there is no reliable evidence to support the theory that dispositional qualities are responsible for individual differences in moral behavior. Indeed, contrary to the tenets of virtue ethics, circumstances seem to be the most important factor influencing a person's moral conduct (Doris & Murphy, 2007; Ross & Nisbett, 1991). Any explanation aimed at better understanding the ethical failures of law enforcement must look beyond mere character-based explanations. This chapter explores the developmental, social, and psychological factors that can contribute to immoral behavior. The author concludes with a review of strategies for creating a culture of ethical behavior.

As public employees, police leadership needs to be able to deal with the wealthy and powerful as well as the impoverished. Police Chiefs must work within the ethical framework of three diverse goals: responsiveness to the public, loyalty to the government they serve, and personal considerations of the individual and the employees. These goals can provide an environment in which leaders can sacrifice ethical principles for self-enrichment. For the overwhelming majority of non-elected public officials who genuinely wish to do the right thing, the high road of ethical aspiration can be obscure and difficult to travel. Police Leaders must model ethical behavior for their employees, gaining the trust and respect of the public. When confronting the opportunities of self-enrichment that shall be offered them, they must deny themselves, in favor of the ethical canons they preach to their subordinates. Self-enrichment often leads to unethical and illegal behavior, which destroys the ethical framework police leaders are sworn to uphold.

Searching public school students has been a Constitutional reality since the landmark decision New Jersey v. T.L.O. in 1985. The law in this area of students’ rights has expanded greatly, including everything from locker searches involving canines to random drug testing of students involved in sports and extracurricular activities to highly intrusive personal searches. As recent as April 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the strip search of a middle school student for ibuprofen was illegal, but because school authorities would not necessarily have known they were violating the student's Constitutional rights, the school was immune from paying money damages. Thousands of searches of all kinds are conducted every day in schools across the country. Many of those searches are legal but not all. Whether legal or not, are those searches ethical? Is an illegal search of a student per se unethical because it violates the Ethic of Care? If a search is legal can it nevertheless conform to any standard of Ethic? Does searching a student violate the Ethic of Care or the Ethic of Critique?

The role of the psychologist is unique within a law enforcement agency. This role is often misunderstood by those designing job descriptions and hiring the psychologist. The psychologist is often called on to serve law enforcement needs through such techniques as a psychological autopsy, or consultant with an SWAT Unit and at the same time serve as the pre-employment/fit-for-duty screening psychologist. One role serves the needs of the department as a fellow law enforcement practitioner and the other serves the department's managers in selection and retention issues. A psychologist can fill many, sometimes multiple roles within a law enforcement agency. This chapter helps to define those roles. It will help define each of the many roles the psychologist can fill and will also identify and examine potential ethical conflicts, including problems with dual relationships and conflicts of interest within these roles.

Findings from a prior study confirm schools are relying more extensively on law enforcement to police student behavior (Torres & Stefkovich, 2009). The same study suggests further that decisions to report student offenses to law enforcement may be motivated in part by school poverty and school minority student concentration. These findings are concerning in light of the NAACP's suggestion that disciplinary action may be overly harsh in schools serving large populations of children of color. Minimal research however has examined the effect of policy interventions (e.g., prevention training) and community involvement (e.g., engagement) in minimizing the likelihood student offenses are criminalized. Using the NCES School Survey on Crime and Safety (2000), policy involvement in student discipline is explored by schools’ action in mitigating/resolving problems through prevention, alternative resolution, and external involvement. Implications for ethical leadership and responsibility are explored.

Despite nationwide decreases in school crime and violence levels, a relatively high and increasing number of students report feeling unsafe in their school environments. In response, many school and law enforcement officials are collaborating to develop school–police partnerships, especially in urban areas as an effort to significantly deter student criminal activity and violence in schools. This chapter examines the beginning efforts of New York City's Impact Schools Initiative, a punitive-based school–police partnership created in January 2004 to significantly increase police presence at some of New York City's most violent public schools. An initial examination of school-level demographic and environmental variables reveal that despite increased police presence, students enrolled at New York City's Impact Schools continue to experience higher than average problems linked directly to future criminality, including more student suspensions and lower attendance rates compared to other New York City Schools. Additionally, the data revealed that compared to other New York City public schools, Impact Schools experience greater student overcrowding and receive less funding.

In the final quarter of the twentieth century, organizational management had been rocked by a theory more powerful than anything since the days of Taylor's theory of scientific management. The new theory was called Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM has largely been eclipsed by other management fads since such as Sigma 6 but none had such an explosive effect on business, schools, and government agencies as TQM (Juran, 1995). The gurus of TQM included J. M. Juran (2003), P. B. Crosby (1995), and even the sage of organizational theory, Peter Drucker (2008). No one, however, stood as tall among this class of gurus as did the notable W. E. Deming (1982). TQM has often been criticized over the years for failing in practice. Deming and his followers retort that it is because organizations seldom incorporated the entire 13 point program. The part so often left out were points that implicitly reflected moral commitments Deming thought organizations ought to have. What Deming relegated to matters of team spirit and other psychological commitments are accommodated in the most scientific sense by recent developments in biology and economics showing that there is an instinct driving evolution among herd animals such as humans to cooperate. This focus on instinct is captured in the most practical sense for organizational analysis in the present author's work on moral architecture. The concept of moral architecture will be sketched as a means for understanding and strengthening, schools, law enforcement agencies and prisons, and other correctional facilities.

Law Enforcement agencies across the nation are in the midst of generational turnover in the workforce. Current practices place most of the decision-making authority and responsibility in the hands of professional managers, far-removed from routine contact with the public. It is the exercise of this authority that impacts organizational performance. Equity forms a cornerstone of a just society, and the functions of law enforcement lend themselves to demonstrate the multiple facets of equality. The underpinnings of this concept are based on the Rawlsian “veil of ignorance,” and Adams' Equity Theory of Motivation. A just society can only be based on the equitable treatment of all its members, regardless of relative status, and in practical terms, this chapter explores how law enforcement organizations can excel, or fail, based on how they practice fairness, both internally and externally.

During its 230 year prison history, the United States has advocated various – and sometimes conflicting – purposes for incarceration. Each justification has rested on the tenets of some prevailing theory of human behavior (Akers & Sellers, 2008; Jones, 2008), which attempts to answer two recurring themes: why do some people commit crimes while others do not, and how should the criminal justice system, including the correctional system, respond to such behavior (Siegel, 2003; Winfree & Abadisky, 2010; Vito, Maahs, & Holmes, 2011). This chapter offers an overview of the general tenets of what is considered morally imperative when determining “right” from “wrong”; the four key criminological perspectives of crime, as well as the ontological assumptions, either explicit or implicit, within each hypothesis. Next, the authors discuss how these assumptions dictate society's response to crime and, more specifically, the type of punishment, rehabilitative efforts, or educational opportunities offered to those who violate society's laws (Bohn & Vogel, 2011). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the types of educational programs and therapies that have demonstrated the most promise at reducing crime and recidivism, as well as suggestions for improving current correctional practices.

This study investigates the relationship between stressors that are part of law enforcement job responsibilities or associated with police work and the relationships of law enforcement officers. This study uses a standardized testing instrument for relationships, the Marital Satisfaction Inventory-Revised (MSI-R) (Snyder, 1997) and a qualitative tool developed by the researcher, the Law Enforcement-Based Family Survey (LEBFS). The MSI-R is a self-report measure that identifies for each partner the nature and the extent of the distress along key dimensions of the relationship. The LEBFS examines themes among law enforcement officers and is used as an exploratory measure. Participants for the study were chosen based on their active duty status and personal relationships, utilizing a sampling procedure. The Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles, California, employed the law enforcement officers for this study, and participation was voluntary and confidential.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibit schools from discriminating against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities because of their impairments. The major difference between the two statutes is that the former applies only to recipients of federal funds, whereas the latter extends protections to those in the private sector. Otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities are those who have physical or mental impairments, which substantially limit one or more of their major life activities, a record of such impairments, or are regarded as having such impairments but who are capable of meeting all of a program's requirements in spite of their disabilities. In this chapter, the authors review the statutes' various requirements as they apply to both students and employees in the school setting. Specifically, using numerous court cases as examples, the chapter outlines the reasonable accommodations schools must provide to extend the benefits of their programs to individuals with disabilities in terms of providing services or employment. Furthermore, the chapter discusses the limitations on the types of accommodations schools must provide when doing so would place an excessive financial or administrative burden on the school board.

This chapter begins by focusing on the challenges educational leaders in short-term juvenile detention facilities face when determining the best way to transition students from public school into the institution and then back into public schools. It examines how these leaders adjust to meet the needs of children labeled as offenders and explore the following patterns: predictable surges in referrals at specific times of year, rates of recidivism and percentages of students who qualify for special education or who have IEP's at the time of referral, difficulties in acquiring the resources necessary for meeting the educational needs of students, and obstacles that prevent students from re-enrolling in public school once they have become eligible to leave the detention facilities. Special attention is given to the use of restorative justice within these institutions. The scope of these topics will span the political, social, educational, and personal spectrum as defined by detention facility leaders. The chapter concludes by discussing ethical and empirical considerations for implementing restorative justice practices in schools.

Kevin P. Brady is currently an associate professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, Adult, and Higher Education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, Dr. Brady was an assistant professor in the Department of Educational and Community Programs at the City University of New York-Queens College. His current research interests include legal and educational policy issues involving student discipline, including zero tolerance discipline policies and the viability of school–police partnerships. Additionally, Dr. Brady's recent scholarship has examined issues relating to student and teacher free speech and expression, special education law, school finance, and educational technology issues involving today's school leaders. Dr. Brady's peer-reviewed scholarship appears in a wide array of leading educational law, policy, and technology-based journals including, the Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, Children's Legal Rights Journal, Distance Education, Education and the Law, Education and Urban Society, Journal of Education Finance, Journal of Interactive Online Learning, Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, Journal of School Leadership, International Journal of Educational Reform, NASSP Bulletin, Review of Research in Education, and West's Education Law Reporter.

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Advances in Educational Administration
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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