Ethics in Criminal Justice

5th Edition

In Search of the Truth

Authors: Sam Souryal
Paperback ISBN: 9781437755909
Imprint: Anderson
Published Date: 23rd September 2010
Page Count: 544


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Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth, Fifth Edition, provides an introduction to the fundamentals of ethical theory, doctrines, and controversies, and the rules of moral judgment. It presents ethics as an “umbrella of civility” under which the law becomes more meaningful and rational, and easier to obey. It also rejects the view that ethical knowledge and moral character are peripheral to the administration of justice. The discussion is organized into two perspectives: a thematic perspective that examines ethical principles common to all components of the discipline, such as wisdom, goodness, morality, and justice, as well as the common vices of deception, racial prejudice, and egoism; and an area-specific perspective that addresses the state of ethics in policing, corrections, and probation and parole. The book covers major concepts of the Stoicism school, the hedonistic school, the virtue school, the religious school, the naturalistic school, the utilitarian school, the duty school, the existential school, and the social justice school. The works of the following are discussed: Epictetus (Stoicism); Aristippus and Epicurus (hedonism); Plato and Aristotle (virtue); Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas (religion); Hobbes and Nietzsche (naturalism); Bentham (utilitarian); Kant (duty); Sartre and de Beauvoir (existentialism); and Rawls (social justice).

Key Features

  • A classical approach to the study of ethics in criminal justice
  • Challenges the reader to emphasize and restore ethics in their part of the criminal justice field


Students and professionals in the criminal justice field.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Acquainting Yourself with Ethics A Tour of the Ethics Hall of Fame What You Will Learn from This Chapter Key Terms and Definitions Overview Exhibit 1—Knowledge and Reasoning A Life Unexamined Is Not Worth Living Exploring Virtue Knowledge and Virtue The Reasoning Process Socratic Reasoning The Death of Socrates Exhibit 2—Intellect and Truth Sources of Intellect Nature of the Truth Plato’s Divided Line Plato’s Dual Truths: Physical and Metaphysical Exhibit 3—The Nature of Reality Discovering Reality Aristotle’s Ethical Realism Exhibit 4—The Nature of Morality Morality and Ethics Morality Defined Moral Principles Relativist Views of Morality Situational Morality The Jimmy Carter Story Exhibit 5—Nature of Goodness The Good Life The Grammar of Goodness The Principle of Summum Bonum A Guiding Formula for Moral Judgment E = PJ2 E = PJ2 in Practice Summary Exhibit 6—Actions and Consequences Bad Actions/Good Consequences Good Actions/Bad Consequences The Utilitarian Measure Pioneers of Utilitarianism Exhibit 7—Determinism and Intentionalism Determinism Scientific Determinism Intentionalism Exhibit 8—The Ethical Person Profile of the Ethical Person Review Questions References Chapter 2 Familiarizing Yourself with Ethics Nature, Definitions, and Categories What You Will Learn from This Chapter Key Terms and Definitions Overview Captain Balian’s Story Was the Captain Right? Lieutenant Lotem’s Story Was the Lieutenant Right? Moral Judgment in Criminal Justice


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About the Author

Sam Souryal

Sam S. Souryal is Professor Emeritus of Criminal Justice and former Assistant Dean at the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University. A former police officer and public manager, Dr. Souryal has taught public administration, organization theory, and police management courses at the University of Wisconsin and Sam Houston State University. He has published numerous books and has been a frequent presenter at the Texas Law Enforcement Management Institute (LEMIT), International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), Texas Probation Commission Training, and the American Corrections Association. In 1999, he served as the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Indonesia. A multi-lingual educator, Souryal has also lectured in Oxford, Germany, China, Taiwan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, Hungary, Mozambique, Botswana, and East Timor. He has also lectured at the FBI Academy. His continued involvement in both comparative and American criminal justice has earned him national and international recognition.

Affiliations and Expertise

Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA