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Slippery Slope Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

CJ340 Applied Criminal Justice Ethics
Unit 4 Essay

The Slippery slope is a term used to describe events that cannot be controlled once started. Gratuities is what pushes officers down the slippery slope path. Delattre (2011) stated “that the slippery slope of corruption begins with any gratuity, including the well-known free cup of coffee” (p.87). Gratuities sometimes lead officers to a lifetime of corruption. It was said that society plays a major role in police corruption. The three theories regarding pubic corruption are Society-at-Large Hypothesis, Structural or Affiliation Hypothesis and the Rotten Apple Hypothesis.
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An example would be the truck drivers leaving money clipped to their id; so when cops pull them over they would let them go. Some cops started to make it their business to pull them over just for the money. The first escalation was the truck driver attaching the money to see if the cop would take the bait. The next escalation is the cop taking the bait. The final escalation which is now corruption is the cop putting aside serious work to pull truck drivers over for the money. All of this leads to police officer’s breaking “the code of ethics” (D’Onofrio, 2013, p.1). It gives the whole police force a negative image.
Corruption starts with innocent and well intentioned practices that eventually escalates over time. Society-at-Large Hypothesis talks about how the force was corrupted by the citizens of Chicago. It was normal to give servants gratuities; the gratuities depended on the level of service they received. Policemen would also receive gratuities and in return would do minor illegal favors. Officers now expected the gratuities and would make themselves available. It started off small and led to major corruption. For example “If a policeman caught a burglar with a big haul, he would take part of the haul and let the burglar go” (Delattre, 2011, p.79). The policeman would then rationalize with himself to make his unethical actions right. He believed that the justice system would release him on bond and the criminal would use the stolen money for lawyers. So the officer justified his corrupt actions by believing part of the justice system was corrupted. The people of Chicago started to see that their gratuities were corrupting their policemen. They then had a new outlook and stopped the gratuities.
The Structural or Affiliation Hypothesis is about how policemen accepts graft for other reasons then greed. They could have followed the footsteps or been taught by policemen who have been on the force for a long time. Sometimes corruption is unplanned because they don’t realize the path they are going down will only lead to corruption. It starts off as small wrongs and turns into huge crimes. Niederhoffer talked about “a Denver policemen involved in the police...

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