In our everyday lives, we all are faced with one thing-power over something or someone whether it is our children or over our parents as to what nursing home to put them in or let them come and live with us. Generally, it might seem normal to get a little abusive with our so called power and let it go to our head to the point of letting that power take us over because we feel that being drunk on it is not a crime. Nevertheless, given the standard prison study, I can say that I do indeed have some ethical concerns. For starters, one of my ethical concerns is the prison guards abusing the power at their disposal in the first place. It is okay if you have power, but when you abuse it to do whatever you want to the prisoner because of something that you do not like about him instead of treating him like a person then that is wrong. Ethically, you are a prison guard but that also makes you an officer of the law which does not give you the right to treat a prisoner like garbage because they broke the law.
Another ethical concern that I have is how prison guards would abuse their power in order to grant certain prisoners special favors for a little something in return, this is the textbook definition of power abuse because a prison guard who does that are dangerous because they can use their power to get other prisoners to turn on you or each other. Case in point, a prison guard notices a female inmate who is mildly attractive but he knows there is a no prisoner contact rule when it comes to prison guards. However, the prison guard tells the young woman that he will see to it that she gets extra time in the prison yard or gets a chance to get at the other woman who just so happens to be the object of the favored prisoners’ ire. This is a great cause of concern because it is prison guards like this who is not living up to his ethical standard to protect and maintain order; he is using his power to get with a female prisoner for sex or whatever he can think of. In light of this, I think if I had to choose then I would want to be the guard but not for the sole purpose of abusing my powers but to lead by example.
For some prison guards, it is just a job that they do not take seriously. As previously stated, I would definitely want to be a guard just for the sole purpose of showing other fellow guards who are abusing their power of how to lead by example; somebody is always following everyone’s lead instead of doing the right thing. Personally, I feel that in the prisoner role, I would have acted justly and looked the other way. Case in point, a female guard comes up to me, and pays me a compliment then tells me that she want to have sex with me in exchange for a few favors at my behest. I would act justly, and turn the favors down because it would not be right if I got special treatment and no one else did. As they say, what hides in darkness eventually comes to light. Arbitrarily, prisoners getting special favors should be out of the question anyway no matter how opportune it may seem; even if it is from the prison guards themselves who are apparently having troubles at home or having life troubles.
Now, in the prison guard role, I would definitely rule with a just fist and do my job because it is the right thing to do. I do not have any right to abuse my power to grant special favors to certain inmates or inmates in general. The biggest reason why I would act ethically in the prison guard role is because being a prison guard is a big role and one where people in those roles need to take seriously. Being a prison guard does not mean or give me the right to do something as unethical as giving certain inmates dominion over each other to the point where I am eventually discovered and fired. The overall point to having a job as a prison guard is to do your job right, and not lose sight of your ethics while you are doing that job. When a prison guard forgets or chooses to ignore their duty to do the right thing then they become a liability, and they are endangering themselves as well as other inmates. Ultimately, if I was a prison guard then I would keep my ethical standard in check at all times because doing my job should be priority number one. Besides, prisoners do not deserve favors from the guards, they are in jail to do time not have an extension of the home that they chose to leave behind.
"ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR RESEARCH INVOLVING PRISONERS." . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb 2014.
Kohut, Joseph. "County prison guard charged with sexually assaulting prisoners." the-times tribune. N.p., 18 January 2014. Web. 15 Feb 2014.