CRJS 490: Ethical Decision Making in Law Enforcement (Rev. C2/C3) Report a Broken Link

Welcome to Criminal Justice 490: Ethical Decision Making in Law Enforcement, a three-credit, senior-level distance education course offered by Athabasca University. This course provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities facing criminal justice professionals in a fluid twenty-first century environment. With the level of scrutiny of police officers and other criminal justice practitioners by the public and governments, and with access by the mass media to downloads from cell phones that become accessible worldwide on the Internet within hours of an event, policing has truly become global entertainment. More than ever, organizations are compelled to view ethical behaviour and the fallout from inappropriate conduct as one of the most critical issues facing organizations today.

Building a foundation for career survival and learning the behavioural skills necessary to manage ethical dilemmas are among the most important skills in preparing for a career in one of the many diverse fields of policing, corrections, and parole or probation services. Criminal Justice 490: Ethical Decision Making in Law Enforcement is a highly demanding course that requires learners to understand the foundations of moral reasoning, what contributes to unethical conduct, and how to manage ethical dilemmas, and then to develop strategies to survive and thrive in their chosen careers. The course provides students with the opportunity to examine the ethical dilemmas that they will likely encounter in whatever profession they choose and then practice how to respond assertively by using models that help to both identify the root cause of ethical challenges and develop solutions that work.

Required Readings

Unit 1: The Foundations and Philosophy of Ethics

Note: The appearance of this assigned reading suggests that it is an article by Knowles. It is actually a book review by Battin.

Please find the video here. Note: You will also find video footage of the incident on this news site.

Unit 2: What Contributes to Unethical Conduct?

Note: The National Criminal Justice Reference Service home page is found at

Unit 3: Managing Ethical Dilemmas

Unit 4: Continuation of Compromise

Unit 5: Case Study Analyses

Unit 6: Ethical Scandals and How They Affect Public Trust

Ethical Scandals and How They Affect Public Trust
Click “PDF Full Text” to view the article.
Click “Full Text (PDF)” to view the article.
Read the article online and follow the links for additional information.

Unit 7: Ethical Challenges Leaders Face

Click either “HTML Full Text” or “PDF Full Text” to view the article.

Unit 8: Rebuilding Character and Organizational Values

This article begins on page 14.
Click “PDF” to view the article.

The home page for the Supreme Court of Canada is found at

Unit 9: Developing a Culture of Integrity