Personal Values and Criminal Justice

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Our personal value system and the priority that we give these values in our lives greatly affect the choices that we make. These values serve as guidelines that we live by in both our personal and professional lives. The Criminal Justice system, in our country, sets a high standard of conduct. However, because standards of conduct differ from society to society there can never be one single standard for all people everywhere. This being said, we must make ethical decisions based on each individual situation. Therefore, we must have our own set of values that we live by in our daily life. Upon reflection of my personal values I can easily think of five that are at the top of my list. These five values, along with others, shape who I am and how I live my life. Many of my values can also be linked to organizational values within our criminal justice system. One of my most important values is integrity. Integrity is doing the same thing whether you are in a group or completely alone; in other words, doing the right thing, all of the time, even if no one is watching. Criminal justice integrity is especially important in police work. It is an essential value for officers to maintain even if they are trying to fit into the subculture of law enforcement. Much corruption in police departments has been the result of officers compromising integrity. Another of my important values is honesty. Honesty is a very important part of our personal and professional lives. Being dishonest can break down relationships and harm the community as a whole. Honesty is also a major value in the criminal justice system. In order for the system to even work it must be based on honor and honesty. There is no justice if the guilty are allowed to be set free, nor is there justice if the innocent are made to pay for crime they never committed. The oath that one takes on the stand, “Do you

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