Moral development is centred on the changes and the understanding of the good or bad from childhood to adulthood. In respect to moral development, morality is concerned with the set-out principles of how individuals relate and treat each other in the society. Also, how people relate and treat each other must be in line with justice, other individual's welfare, and rights. Morality can be incorporated into our justice system today to ensure that the rights of various individuals are not violated. Moreover, it will enhance equality among society members. This will be about Kohlberg's stages of moral development.
The level of Kohlberg's moral development comprised: level one was the pre-conventional morality. He placed a lot of emphasizes on the younger individuals in the society. He argued that this individuals lack personal code of morality and for this reasons their moral standards are shaped by the older adult. Moreover, their moral standards are also shaped by the consequences of violating the set-out laws (Jamison, 1981). He concludes this level by indicating that the existing authority does not exist among the individual and the reasoning of this individuals is based on significant actions they commit. I would address this level in my department by instructing my fellow law enforcement officers to consider the crimes that are committed by these individuals at this stage (Gibbs, 2003). This is to mean their punishment should not be the same as those of the adults who are aware and are having good development on the moral standards. In summary, they should be educated on what is right and wrong by the officers to create awareness in them.
The second stage is the stage of conventional morality. This is majorly centred on the adults and the adolescent. This is a more upgraded stage as compared to the first stage. Ideally speaking, these adults internalize morality and should act as role model (Gibbs, 2003). Kholberg's stipulates that the authority is internalized to this group of individuals but questioned. Moreover, their reasoning and arguments are based on the available norms of the respective groups they belong to (Zizek, Garz, & Nowak, 2015). I would apply this to my fellow law enforcement officer by allowing them to question the offenses that are committed by these individuals to understand their views before conviction (Jamison, 1981).
The third level is the post-conventional morality. In this stage, a person's judgment is based on self-chosen principle, and their moral arguments and reasoning are based on the individual rights and justice. According to Kohlberg, this stage of moral reasoning has not been achieved by a greater percentage of people. I would address this level in my department by allowing the individuals in this stage of moral development to reveal to the department from whom they took the moral views (Gibbs, 2003).
My officers can use Kohlberg's stages in evaluation tree types of individuals as follow. Those who commit a crime in the first stage that is pre-conventional level should not be taken with seriousness for the acts they have committed since at this level they have not developed morally. On the other hand, those who commit a crime on the second and the third level should be evaluated first for the crimes they have committed (Jamison, 1981). These individuals are aware of the authority rules and regulations; hence my officers should evaluate their actions by asking their reason for a particular act. Intact these people should be role model to individuals in the first stage (Gibbs, 2003).
Self-interest refers to actions by an individual that are aimed to benefit him at the expense of others (Gibbs, 2003). The first way of addressing self-interest and pursuit of pleasure is by setting strict guidelines for the offenders. This will enable the police to keep away from corruption practices because of fear of losing their livelihood. Another reason for preventing corruption and self-interest is by creating awareness to the public to report cases of corruption and self-interest of officers who might be involved (Gibbs, 2003).
My law enforcement officers should first fulfil offering protection to the citizen. They should ensure that the citizens are protected from such immoral behaviours like crime and theft. This responsibility should be fulfilled twenty-four hours seven days a week. Moreover, to this, they should protect the public properties (Jamisson, 1981). The second duty is to enforce the law. This is perhaps the most important duty of the law enforcement officers. The laws of the country should fairly and equitably enforce among all the people regardless of the social status. The third duty is to exercise reasonable force on the citizens with due care and diligence. With this duty, the law enforcement officers should as well educate the public on the importance of obeying the law and maintaining peace and order. In summary, law enforcement officers should act in the best interest of the general public and not themselves. Moreover, their interest should second the interest of the public (Gibbs, 2003).
Jamison, M. (1981). Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral development: The impact of peer pressure on moral reasoning and behaviour
Gibbs, J. C. (2003). Moral development and reality: Beyond the theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman. Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Zizek, B., Garz, D., & Nowak, E. (Eds.). (2015). Kohlberg revisited. Springer
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