FREE Correctional Ethics Questions and Answers


Are inmates permitted to smoke?

Correct! Wrong!

The rules regarding cigarette smoking and other tobacco use differ by jurisdiction- Until recently, almost all jails and prisons in the United States allowed inmates (and staff) to smoke. Concerns about rising health-care costs for both smokers and nonsmokers prompted many states to prohibit smoking in correctional facilities a few decades ago. More than half of the 50 states now prohibit smoking, and the number is expected to rise further.

What should you do if a prisoner is unconscious and appears to be having a heart attack?

Correct! Wrong!

You should seek medical attention and begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation right away. This is the general rule, but there may be times when you must deviate from it if doing so would endanger you, another officer, or other inmates.

What is the most crucial aspect of a fire safety plan?

Correct! Wrong!

The most important aspect of a fire safety program is fire prevention. This is not to minimize the significance of knowing where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them, or the importance of conducting regular fire drills. These are all critical. The best way to keep people and property safe from fires is to prevent them from starting in the first place.

While making rounds, you recognize a new inmate as a high school friend with whom you later lost contact. You haven't seen him in almost ten years. What are your options?

Correct! Wrong!

If you come across an inmate you recognize while working in corrections, notify your immediate supervisor. Close relatives, distant relatives, current friends, friends you haven't seen in years, friends you've fought with, former coworkers, and all other past and present acquaintances are included. In this situation, the possibility of a conflict of interest is high, and failing to notify your supervisor immediately may result in disciplinary action.

Which of the following is NOT a legal way to reward or punish inmates?

Correct! Wrong!

Mail from an inmate's attorney is being blocked.

Which of the following is the most important factor in preventing riots or other civil unrest?

Correct! Wrong!

One of the most important factors in maintaining a calm and safe environment in a correctional institution is that rules and regulations are consistently enforced. Laxity, favoritism, and other forms of inconsistency can lead to resentment and anger and should be avoided at all costs.

It is critical for correction officers to develop relationships with inmates because it fosters understanding and mutual respect.

Correct! Wrong!

Staff members must keep a professional distance between themselves and inmates (or members of their families). This is not to say that corrections officers should not be concerned about the well-being of inmates; they should. They should not, however, become friendly with them because doing so can result in significant conflicts of interest.

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