Some two million Americans are in jail or in prison. Except for the occasional expose, what happens to them is hidden from the rest of us. Is it possible to develop and instill a professional ethic for prison personnel that, in partnership with formal regulatory constraints, will mediate relations among officers, staff, and inmates, or are the failures of imprisonment as an ethically-constrained institution so deeply etched into its structure that no professional ethic is possible? The contributors to this volume struggle with this central question and its broader and narrower ramifications. Some argue that despite the problems facing the practice of incarceration as punishment, a professional ethic for prison officers and staff can be constructed and implemented. Others, however, despair of imprisonment and even punishment, and reach instead for alternative ways of healing the personal and communal breaches constituted by crime. The result is a provocative contribution to practical and professional ethics.
In this book, John Kleinig and Margaret Leland Smith, two well-known and insightful thinkers in the criminal justice ethics field, offer readers an exciting look at cutting-edge issues in correctional ethics. Contributions to this edited volume are first-rate and highlight the moral dilemmas faced by society, correctional personnel at all levels, and by those who are sentenced under American criminal law today. This excellent book misses nothing; with topics ranging from a discussion of whether a workable correctional ethics is even possible, to a consideration of moral issues involving gender and race.--Frank Schmalleger, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Pembroke