The corruption continuum developed by Neal Trautmann to explain unethical actions by police officers involves four levels. These can be effectively used to explain how organizations can become corrupt and in this case, an urban police department. The levels are as follows;Implementation of policies that will make the police officers aware of the ethical rules and regulations required of them to follow. If this is not done, then corruption will surely result. This is because, the officers in the said department will not be aware of the moral/ethical obligations that they are required to attain as concerns corruption.
As a result, they will openly take part and even permit acts of corruption to prevail for the lack of knowledge of the effects. Eventually, corruption as a vice will crop up in the institution.
Covering up among police officers. Here, the idea of concealing unethical practices among police officers is brought to light.
In an organization, particularly a police department, unethical practices are likely to occur, sometimes as a result of the first point discussed, that is lack of information. In the event of an offence like this, the offender may escape punishment, reprimanding or necessary yet appropriate legal action as a result of covering up by a colleague. This will permit the prevailing of unethical practices in the organization and thus the organization will become corrupt.Fear to step forward. In this case, the instance of an officer fearing to stand out and step forward and out of an act of corruption becomes a major leeway to an organization becoming corrupt. Officers at employment are often straightforward and headstrong on matters corruption but as time goes by they gradually become fearful to step forward and condemn or even report incidences of corruption.
As a result, the hesitating to come forward fosters the development of corruption in an organization.Doing anything to survive within a corrupt system. Officers who at the start are honest, straight forward and well cultured soon find themselves in a corrupt system. As a result ,to sustain their well-being and sometimes even jobs, they are forced to be corrupt themselves. These officers resort to doing literally anything to survive in a highly competitive yet corrupt environment. As a result, good morals are corrupted and corruption stems in the organization.Explain how organizational incentives such as COMPSTAT can influence organizational corruptionCOMPSTAT , a computer program used for organizational management of police departments has been adopted in a good number of police departments. Being a database for crimes committed and police actions taken against the crimes, it can be a good incentive that police departments can adopt for it will ensure fast communication and inter-departmental sharing of valuable information. As a programme now in use in police departments, it has numerous effects of the incidences of corruption in these departments both positively and negatively and we shall focus on both sides.PositivelyIf a record of all police activity is kept, it can be easily possible to follow up on matters promotion and this will ensure transparency in police departments such that officers only receive promotions based on merit and that the whole process is free and fair for everyone.
With COMPSTAT information, it can be possible to detect wrong doing and address it both accordingly and specifically. As a result, officers who commit offences especially unethical offences will be brought to justice and this will reduce cases of victimization and framing brought about by corrupt legal and administrative systems.This system will also help to follow through payment plans and schemes to ensure that payments and financial appreciation is done fairly and again, based on merit. This is because the information showing police activity will show how much work a department or individual is doing and thus it can be used as evidence for payments made.Records of criminal activity will help ensure thorough follow up on capture and release of criminals such that corrupt police officers and administrators may not influence these. This will ensure that jail terms and appropriate arrests are not hindered by acts of corruption.NegativelyThe work of policing will now be reduced to figures and as a result, it may foster corruption such that criminals will now be arrested or acquitted more to put a good show for a particular department. This will be based on corrupt and unethical measures taken by officers upon instruction from their seniors so as to make the department have a good outlook. This will in turn foster corruption in the organization.
Bandura’s explanation of the influence of co-workers on individual behavior and explain how this topic relates to police supervision Zhijun C, Riki T & Cass S(2013)Organization Science 1.128/orsc.2013.0820University of Nevada, Las VegasAlbert Bandura in the Social Learning Theory explains that pure behaviorism cannot explain why learning takes place in the absence of external reinforcement.According to him, learning is actually based on factors that are much more complex than just imitation. His emphasis is on observational learning, such that individual behavior can be influenced by that of co-workers not just by imitating what they do but also by learning from a model and recreating a similar response. For example, If a worker sees a co-worker getting fired as a result of speaking ill of the boss, this worker will refrain from speaking ill of the boss to avoid the punishment ,that is in this case, getting fired. This is creation of a new response based on the model created by the boss and the co-worker.
The Social Modelling/Learning theory involves two major aspects; motivation and punishment. It therefore relates to police supervision along these aspects.Supervision as a whole relies heavily on motivation and punishment to foster the focusing of energy in one direction so as to achieve the set objectives. Based on the theory of social modelling, supervision based on motivation ideally buoys the workers to exert themselves more to the task as a result of a boosted morale for work. In a case of a police department, motivation in supervision can be achieved through positive comments, awards, promotions and many more. These results in increased effort and better results. Punishment too, is an aspect of supervision that involves extinguishing a behavior by discouraging it to ensure that it does not recur. Supervision thus encompasses punishment as a means to get rid of negative efforts and traits so as to ensure positive growth and output in the department or organization. Explain the continuum of compromise’ as it relates to individual police misconduct, including how it might help supervisors recognize warning signs. Include the concept of means-end’ thinking in your review.Kevin M.G & John J.J.H (1998)
The Continuum of Compromise
The Police Chief Magazine January 1998The continuum of compromise is a phenomenon that seeks to explain the gradual change in police officers’ conduct from what is termed as honest cop’ to compromised officer’. It basically focuses on deterioration in ethical standing of an officer over a period of service in the law enforcement sector. It states that officers begin their tenures at work with the desire to be viewed as being honest and enthusiastic. However after some time and with the increasing familiarization and development of a sense of singular identity with the job, they start to feel a sense of victimization. In a case where an officer becomes fully integrated into the job, viewing it as their way of life, resentment can start to occur towards the job. As a result of the sense of victimization, the officers now develop negative attitude towards their seniors, the administration and especially to anyone who controls their role.
Thereafter, the officer starts to go through the steps described in the continuum of compromise as follows;Omission of workIn this case the officer fails to do tasks that they are required to do and justifies them upon feelings of victimization. The attitude changes to that of If they don’t care about us, why should we care for them?’ This therefore leads to low productivity and failure to perform quality work.Commission of administrative violationsHere, the officers choose to break rules in their code of conduct as a result of the sense of victimization felt. Officers may start to commit minor offences such as firing warning shots, having and sometimes using unauthorized weapons or engaging in prohibited activities such as drinking at work, having relationships at the work place and even failure to report misconduct that would otherwise be necessary to report.
Commission of criminal activitiesIn this stage, police officers commit acts that would not normally be associated with a law enforcer. Such activities include theft of confiscated items, hiding of part of the evidence, misappropriation of money or valuables that have been rounded up, Purchasing or sale of un authorized equipment and many more.Supervisors can recognize the warning signs in each of the stages by constant follow up on the officers and receiving feedback on their perception of the administration and work environment as a whole. Also , they can check on the performance of the officers and foster accountability from each individual officer as this will ensure that none of the steps of the continuum is reached.Means-end thinking’Bruce B (2010)
Noble Cause Corruption
Ethics in Law Enforcement Police One.com
As concerns the concept of means-end’ thinking; it is an ethical system that suggests that it is not possible to predict the outcome of actions otherwise termed as means. It argues that for us to be able to justify means especially if unethical, that they will lead to a good and justifiable end depends on whether we know if the means will result in the outcome that is desired. It brings to mind the teleological ethical system whereby the actions taken whether positive or negative do not matter for as long as the outcome is good. In the police department for instance, corrupt procedures that are not ethical may be taken to ensure that crime is halted This is the means-end concept.Describe Bandura’s definition of self-regulation and describe how aspects of the law enforcement job can cause one to turn away from self-regulation
According to Albert Bandura, Self-regulation is a system where individuals function as contributors to their behavior, motivation and development in a process of self-development that involves guiding their own thought processes, behaviors and emotional experiences to achieve certain goals.The law enforcement job has various aspects that can actually cause one to turn from self-regulation, whereby they don’t by their own thought processes foster self-development but by other external influences. Based on the components of self-regulation described by Baumeister et al. (2007) as; standards, motivation, monitoring and willpower, we can be able to deduce how law enforcers can turn from self-regulation as a result of influences encountered in their work.The aspect of standards, describes the desired behavior expected of average members of society and this then forms the standard that individuals seek to attain. Law enforcers may depart from these standards of self-regulation as a result of the exposure and slang learnt in their line of work such that they may start to speak and take up a behavior that may not be acceptable by society as being of the right standard.
Such traits which may be deemed fit in the police force may not necessarily be acceptable by the general populace and thus the law enforcers will have departed from self-regulation.Secondly, the motivation bit of it brings to light, the desire in an individual to attain the expected standards of behavior. Aspects of law enforcer’s work may not require the officers to attain such standards especially since the work they are involved in encompasses dealing with unruly and sometimes criminal behavior. As such, the work regulations may not require standards of behavior and therefore, the law enforcers may lose the drive to have good standards of behavior and as a result will turn away from self-regulation.Thirdly, the aspect of monitoring of situations and thoughts that precede breaking standards may not be reinforced in police officers as they are often required to act speedily and on impulse and thus, this may go a long way to influence their behavior even when leading normal lives as individuals. They may not engage in much thought process and rationalization before taking part in an activity that may sometimes be off standard and as such, they will have turned away from self-regulation.
Finally, comes the aspect of willpower which entails the internal strength to control urges. This is mainly mediated by cognitive functions. In the work of law enforcement, officers may be exposed to situations that may affect their psychosocial well-being. As a result, they may lose their willpower to make decisions against urges and such is the reason why crimes like rape are witnessed in police departments. As such, they will have turned away from self-regulation.Considering that police agencies are nearly evenly-split on the topic of gratuities, determine whether you would recommend a policy that forbids patrol officers from accepting gratuities. Feldberg M(1985)
Gratuities, corruption and Democratic Ethos of Policing
The Case of the Free Cup of Coffee, Moral Issues in Police WorkGratuities are generally gifts to someone based solely on their profession or occupation. Various professions are linked with the giving of gratuities and in most cases, they enhance the quality of service provided. Such is the case among police officers. However, the profession and kind of work that the law enforcers engage in puts them at a balance when they receive gratuities. Here is why. Gratuities often come with strings attached and in the work of police, the strings may involve absolving individuals who otherwise deserve arrest or incarceration of charges based on gratuities received form these individuals. As a result, this compromises a very key department on which a nation is highly dependent and gives way to crime which may then jeopardize lives and property in like in other professions where the effects may not be as immense.Also, the giving and receiving of gratuities puts officers at a precarious situation whereby they may be used to take part or even authorize unlawful actions ,purchases and storage of illegal equipment or weapons and even the sale of contraband and this will deprive a nation of its moral standards. There is a very thin line between gratuities and bribes which may not be adequately perceived both by the public and the officers and as such, with partiality that comes with it, the gratuities may gradually become bribery which is in itself an aspect of corruption.Gratuities are actually a slippery slope to eroded ethics and corruption and for professionals in the line of work such as the one police officers are involved in, and even with the positive benefits that they may bring along, gratuities should not be given to police officers.
- Zhijun C, Riki T & Cass S(2013)Organization Science 1.128/orsc.2013.0820University of Nevada, Las VegasKevin M.G & John J.J.H (1998)The Continuum of Compromise
- The Police Chief Magazine January 1998Bruce B (2010)Noble Cause CorruptionEthics in Law Enforcement Police One.com
- Feldberg M(1985)Gratuities, corruption and Democratic Ethos of Policing
- The Case of the Free Cup of Coffee, Moral Issues in Police Work
Cite this essay
Essence of Trautmann’s Corruption Continuum. (2019, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/essence-of-trautmanns-corruption-continuum-essay