Probation and Parole Ethics

As previously mentioned, unethical acts are committed by employees in virtually every type of law enforcement endeavor. This is true even in the field of probation and parole, where employees are presumed to have one of the highest levels of education and job training (Souryal, 2006). Probation and parole officers have the potential to engage in many different types of unscrupulous behaviors. Some probation and parole officers, for example, may conduct personal business on state time. This can include anything from grocery shopping to getting a haircut while on duty. There are also employees in community corrections who claim that they make field visits when in fact they do not (Souryal, 2006).

In addition to these types of unprofessional behaviors, probation and parole officers may also act in an unethical manner by discriminating against clients solely on the basis of race, gender, or age (Souryal, 2006). Also, probation and parole employees may engage in sexual deviance. One type of sexual deviance, for example, may include sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. Recently, an Alaskan probation officer filed a lawsuit against his female superior alleging that she permitted a sexually charged, hostile work environment (Carroll, 2005). He maintained that one of his female coworkers had pinched his nipples repeatedly, even after being told to stop. In addition to engaging in sexual harassment, probation and parole employees may also behave unethically by having sexual relationships with either their clients or their clients’ family members (Souryal, 2006). Like police officers, prison guards, and court employees, these practitioners also have the potential to behave unethically during the course of their careers.

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