CRIMj 465


In this lesson three major categories of moral development theories will be presented: biological, learning and developmental theories. Biological theories are interested in uncovering biological characteristics that hold sway over moral behavior. Learning theory holds that moral development of an individual is directly related to the individual’s surroundings or environment. Developmental theories back the concept that moral development is directly related to such elements as physical, cognitive, and emotional development. This lesson will also focus on Kohlberg's theory of moral development as well as Gilligan's feminist review of his research.  In this lesson, we will also discuss the connection between moral beliefs and behavior, while stressing that such a connection is not a reliable predictor of human behavior. Subcultural and official ethics will be presented with a focus on the varied methods to teaching ethics in the criminal justice setting.  This lesson will assess the manner in which moral development theories have been used to treat criminal offenders as well.

Also to be addressed will be the difference between concepts of law and justice. The focus of this section will be to demonstrate how adherence to law may not, at all times, generate righteous and moral results. The principal mechanisms of justice - fairness, equality and impartiality - will be discussed as well as the differences between distributive and corrective justice. While distributive justice focuses on developing a method for distribution of commodities when they are scarce, corrective justice concentrates on how individuals should be disciplined for misconduct. Along with Rawls's theory of justice, two other theories of corrective justice to advance our grasp of crime and punishment will be introduced: Substantive and Procedural justice. On the one hand, substantive justice attempts to identify that which is considered fair punishment. On the other hand, procedural justice looks to circumscribe that which is deemed a fair process by which guilt may be determined. As a final point, two different paradigms will be presented to advance the student's insight into the role of law in our society - consensus and conflict paradigms.


After completing this lesson, you should be able to: