Dowling College 93913          PHL1060C Ethics in Criminal Justice             TR 10:00 am-11:21 am

Duration:         Jan 30, 2016 - May 16, 2016

CRN:    23523


Professor Christian Perring

E-mail: perringc at  [All email to me should have "PHL1060" in the subject line]

Texting: message me at 631-256-7167, always starting your message with PHL 1060 and your name.

Office Phone: 244-3349

Office: 330B RC (next to the computer lab)

Office Hours: Monday 230-430pm, Tuesday 230-430pm, Thursday 230-430pm


Course description.   The course will teach students about ethical issues in criminal justice, enhancing their ability to see moral problems, to discuss what is right, to argue for a point of view, and to understand alternative points of view, and to reach a resolution of moral dilemmas in criminal justice.  It will also cover the central philosophical approaches to morality and it will examine their relevance to criminal justice.  Central topics are the nature of justice, and ethical problems facing the police, correctional professionals, and legal professionals.



ISBN- 9780133843286

Author: Albanese

Title: Professional Ethics in Criminal Justice: Being Ethical When No One is Looking, 4th Edition [Make sure you have this edition]

Pearson 2015


How Your Grade Is Calculated.

Effort (Participation, Attendance, Attitude): 20%

Tests (In class quizzes and assignments, Midterm and Final): 40%

Research Paper: 40%


Reading assignments: The reading is listed in the syllabus below.  You must do the reading before that week.  You should be familiar with the main ideas in each assigned chapter, and you should make notes of those parts that are hard to follow.


Attendance:  Attendance is required. You need to be in the classroom by the start of the class period, when I will take attendance.  If you are late, you only get half-credit for attendance that day.  If you are late to class, you need to speak to me at the end of class to explain why you were late and ask me to record your presence on my roster.  If you need to miss a class, you should notify me by phone or email before the class.  If you are ill and see a medical professional, or you have an unavoidable legal obligation, you should show me some documentation as evidence.  Your attendance grade will suffer significantly if you miss classes without excuse.  If you miss classes, you should write a 600 word summary of the reading assigned for that class, or arrange some alternative make-up work.  If you miss more than 5 classes without excuse, you will fail the course.  Arriving late for class will count as an absence unless you make sure that I registered your presence, and then you get half-credit. 


Participation: You should participate in class discussion, both answering questions that are put to the class, raising questions when you do not fully understand an idea or a part of the text, or what someone in the class says.  You can also get participation credit for discussing issues online.


Paper.  I will make available the possible paper topics by March 1. Paper drafts (at least 1000 words) are due March 20.  The deadline for your paper is April 12.  See Blackboard for instructions about how to submit your paper.


Paper Grading:

Satisfactory (C): Your paper needs to be at least 1600 words.  You need to show competence in discussing moral theories and concepts and applying them to criminal justice.  The paper needs to be in grammatical English with no significant spelling problems (including the names of people you are discussing).  The opening paragraph needs to state what your main thesis is and how you will argue for it.  The rest of the paper needs to make a reasonable argument for your thesis.  You should make references to the textbook to show that you have understood the basics of the course.

Good (B):  Your paper needs to satisfactory, and in addition, you need to show you have done research of scholarly or at least well-rearched material beyond the textbook, and have thought carefully about the issues on your own. 

Excellent (A): Your paper needs to be good, and you need to show that you really understand all the material you have discussed in a sophisticated way; you need to develop an interesting argument for your conclusion. 

Plagiarism detection and prevention: Your paper should be submitted via in MS Word or RTF.  I will give you information about how to use  Note that I view any form of academic dishonesty very seriously, and if I find that you have engaged in any significant form of plagiarism or cheating I will fail you in this course and report my action to the Dean of Students.


Late work will receive a late penalty. 

Final deadline for submission of all work, including late work: Friday May 13 2016

Spring Break March 21-27





Tue Feb 2



Thur Feb 4


BBC Louis Theroux in San Quentin Prison


Chapter 1: Recognizing Ethical Decisions: Ethics and Critical Thinking



Chapter 2: Virtue Ethics: Seeking the Good




The House I Live In


Chapter 3: Formalism: Carrying Out Obligation and Duty




Solitary Nation


Chapter 4: Utilitarianism: Measuring Consequences


Tues Mar 1


One for Ten


Chapter 5: Crime and Law: Which Behaviors Ought to Be Crimes?












Paper writing



Chapter 6: Police: How Should the Law Be Enforced?




The Seven Five

Tues April 5



Thur 7

Chapter 7: Courts: How Ought a Case Be Adjudicated






Chapter 8: Punishment and Corrections: What Should Be Done with Offenders?

Prison Terminal The Last Days of Private Jack Hall






Women Behind Bars






America's Brutal Prisons

Tue May 3

Chapter 9: Liability: What Should Be the Consequence of Unethical Conduct?


Thur 5

Chapter 10: The Future: Will We Be More or Less Ethical?



Final discussion



Final discussion