Academic Honesty of CJ Students and Detective Moral Integrity.
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O R I G I N A L A R T I C L E Open Access Academic dishonesty amongst Australian criminal justice and policing university students: individual and contextual factors Li Eriksson *and Tara Renae McGee * Correspondence: [email protected] of Criminology and CriminalJustice, Griffith University, Qld, Australia Abstract Over the past few decades, a body of research has developed examining the academic dishonesty of university and college students. While research has explored academic dishonesty amongst American criminal justice and policing students, no research has specifically focused on investigating the dynamics and correlates of academic dishonesty amongst Australian criminology students. This study drew upon data obtained from a survey of 79 undergraduate criminal justice and policing students studying at an Australian university. Overall, the results suggest that male gender, viewing academic dishonesty as less serious and holding justifications for engaging in this type of behaviour were significant predictors of self-reported academic dishonesty. The findings suggest that more proactive strategies need to be implemented by universities to prevent student involvement in academic dishonesty. Keywords: Academic dishonesty; University students; Criminal justice students; Policing students Background Empirical research has shown that academic dishonesty among students is both a prevalent and growing problem in colleges and universities around the world (Allen et al. 1998; Hrabak et al. 2004; Lambert and Hogan 2004; Marsden et al. 2005; McCabe et al. 2008; McCabe and Trevino 1996). In addition to demonstrating the prevalence of academic dishonesty, studies have shown that there are many individual characteristics and contextual factors that may underpin the prevalence of academic misconduct (Lambert and Hogan 2004; McCabe et al. 2001; Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). Research further shows that prevalence rates and predictors may differ across disci- plines (Iyer and Eastman 2006; Lambert and Hogan 2004). It is particularly important to examine correlates of academic dishonesty among criminal justice and policing students, as those students convicted of academic dishonesty charges may face signifi- cant barriers to employment within legal, criminal justice and policing agencies that may require disclosure of academically dishonest behaviour as part of their staff re- cruitment processes. In Australia, several studies have been conducted on the dynamics of academic dis- honesty across a range of academic disciplines (e.g. Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; Marsden et al. 2005; Ogilvie and Stewart 2010). While research has been © 2015 Eriksson and McGee. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, providedthe original work is properly credited. Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 DOI 10.1007/s40979-015-0005-3 conducted on academic dishonesty amongst criminology students in the United States (Coston and Jenks 1998; Eskridge and Ames 1993; Lambert and Hogan 2004; Tibbetts 1998), to date no research has been conducted on academic dishonesty within the spe- cific context of Australian university students within criminal justice and policing disci- plines. This is unfortunate, as data from other countries with different socio-historical contexts may not be directly generalizable to the Australian context (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005). In addition, given the significant focus on misconduct and cor- ruption within policing and criminal justice agencies in Australia as a result of govern- ment enquiries (see Lewis et al. 2010), the lack of research into unethical conduct among policing and criminal justice students in Australia is surprising. Although Australia currently ranks among the top 20 ‘cleanest ’countries in the world in terms of perceived levels of public sector corruption (Transparency International 2014), the his- tory of corruption and misconduct in Australia warrants the need to examine academ- ically dishonest behaviour within the cohort of future policing and criminal justice professionals. Academic dishonesty has a range of negative effects both at the institutional and indi- vidual level (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; Clement 2001; Marsden et al. 2005; McCabe and Trevino 1993). At the institutional level, student involvement in academic dishonesty has clear potential to diminish the reputation and integrity of universities and can also threaten the economic viability of universities situated within competitive educational markets (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; Marsden et al. 2005). Aca- demic dishonesty also hinders the ability of universities to ensure that students who complete degrees have the knowledge and skills they require for employment or for fur- ther study (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005). At the individual level, negative ef- fects of cheating include non-cheating students being put at a potential academic disadvantage to students who engage in academic dishonesty (McCabe and Trevino 1993). In addition to this, engagement in academic dishonesty has been linked to in- creased acceptance of unethical workplace behaviour (Lawson 2004; Nonis and Swift 2001), suggesting that academic misconduct may continue post-graduation. This poten- tial continuation of unethical conduct is, of course, particularly relevant for future po- lice and criminal justice professionals, given that their discretionary powers may have extensive impact on the lives of the client groups with which they come into contact. The current study builds new knowledge and adds to the evidence base on academic dishonesty in a number of ways. Firstly, it examines the prevalence and predictors of academic dishonesty amongst Australian policing and criminal justice students. Sec- ondly, it highlights a range of recommendations that academic faculties can implement in order to better prevent academic dishonesty behaviours. Thirdly, it adds to the current theoretical understanding of academic dishonesty. Defining academic dishonesty Within the extant empirical research, there is debate regarding what constitutes academic dishonesty (Pincus and Schmelkin 2003; Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). Pavela ’s (1978) definition provides a useful starting point for the institutional identification and study of academic dishonesty (Lambert and Hogan 2004; Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). Pavela (1978) conceptualises academic dishonesty as incorporating four main types of fraudulent and unethical conduct. Within this, the first type of academic dishonesty is cheating , Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 2 of 15 which includes the intentional use or attempted use of unauthorised materials or informa- tion in an examination. Secondly, there is fabrication or invention of any information or citation . Thirdly, facilitation relates to behaviours that assist other students in engaging in academic dishonesty. The final form of academic dishonesty under Pavela ’sdefinitionis plagiarism which refers to “the deliberate use, adoption or reproduction of ideas, words or statements of another person as one ’s own without acknowledgement of the author ” (Pavela 1978, p.73). Some researchers have suggested that there are other acts that fall within the um- brella of academic dishonesty (Pincus and Schmelkin 2003; Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). In this regard, some have suggested that academic dishonesty includes misrepre- sentation which includes providing a false excuse to gain an assignment extension or deferment of an exam (Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). It has also been suggested that academic sabotage , which involves deliberating hiding or destroying books in a library so that other students cannot use them, should also be incorporated into definitions of academic dishonesty (Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). The current research utilises a broad definition of academic dishonesty that includes not only the four elements of Pavela ’s (1978) definition but also misrepresentation and academic sabotage. Individual characteristics A central focus in much of the academic dishonesty research has been to explore the individual characteristics of those students who are most likely to engage in academic dishonesty. Researchers have often hypothesised that the characteristics of students most likely to engage in academic dishonesty include being male and being from a non-English speaking background (e.g. Marshall and Garry 2006; McCabe and Trevino 1997). Many studies have found that male gender is a statistically significant predictor of higher likelihood of involvement in academically dishonest behaviour ( Jensen et al. 2002; Kremmer et al. 2007; McCabe and Trevino 1997). Males ’involvement in aca- demic dishonesty may be explained by the gender role conflict that occurs when males are socialised into traditional roles of masculinity, underpinned by expectations of suc- cess manifested as persistent worries about personal achievement, competence, failure and career achievement (Cournoyer and Mahalik 1995; O ’Neil et al. 1995). A meta- analysis conducted by Whitley et al. (1999) examining gender differences in attitudes toward and engagement in academic dishonesty found that women held significantly higher negative attitudes towards cheating than men. Results further showed that men were more likely to engage in academic dishonesty, although these gender differences were associated with a relatively small effect size. However, other studies have found no gender differences (Diekhoff et al. 1996; Roig and Caso 2005). In contrast to these findings on gender, some more consistent results have emerged regarding the degree to which ethnicity or being from a non-English speaking back- ground is predictive of academic dishonesty. Research has found that students from a non-English speaking background are more likely to engage in academic dishonesty (Marshall and Garry 2006) and that non-White criminology students report higher levels of academic dishonesty (Lambert and Hogan 2004). One explanation for this may be that students from minority backgrounds, particularly those with weaker English language skills, may perceive academic life to be more stressful and feel less able to cope with academic expectations compared with other students (Wan et al. Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 3 of 15 1992). Nonetheless, there is some research to suggest that while international students are more likely to cheat on exams, they are less likely to engage in academically dishon- est practices in written assignments (Kremmer et al. 2007), suggesting that there may be variations among types of academic dishonesty. In addition to the research into the individual factors that predict academic dishon- esty, researchers have also stressed that there are contextual issues that are essential to examine in the ongoing development of strategies to reduce the prevalence of academic dishonesty ( Jordan 2001; McCabe and Trevino 1993). These include motivational fac- tors, perceived seriousness and peer involvement. In addition to these factors, from a deterrence perspective certainty of detection/punishment and severity of punishment may also be important factors in explaining academic dishonesty (Ogilvie and Stewart 2010; Paternoster 1987). However, these factors are not the focus of the current study. Motivations and justifications for engaging in academic dishonesty It is clear that students have a wide range of motivations for engaging in academic dis- honesty, with many students, including criminal justice students, reporting that aca- demic dishonesty is justified in certain circumstances (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; de Lambert et al. 2003; Jensen et al. 2002; Lambert and Hogan 2004; McCabe et al. 1999; Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). A key qualitative study in this area con- ducted by McCabe et al. (1999) found that common motivations for student engage- ment in academic dishonesty include pressure to get higher grades, a desire to excel, lack of preparation and pressure to gain employment upon completion of study. Stu- dents within the sample also reported that academic dishonesty could be justified in certain situations including: when there are parental pressures to do well; to remain academically competitive with others students; and excessive workload or assessment standards set by lecturers and tutors. Although students may be aware of the unethical nature of academically dishonest behaviour, techniques of neutralisation offer one the- oretical explanation for their justification of unethical behaviours (Sykes and Matza 1957). Examining students ’self-reported reasons for engaging in academic dishonesty, Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke (2005) found that student motivations were consistent with a neutralisation framework, whereby the students rationalised their academically dishonest conduct by providing reasons relating to the difficult and time-consuming nature of the academic assessments. Interestingly, these were not the same reasons pro- vided to academic staff, suggesting a discrepancy between students ’actual reasons and the reasons provided to staff once students have been caught for academic dishonesty. Attitudes toward academic dishonesty Engagement in academic dishonesty has also been associated with attitudes toward such behaviour. Theoretically, the expectation is that individuals who hold antisocial at- titudes are more likely to engage in antisocial conduct when provided with the situ- ational opportunity to do so (Farrington 2005). A number of studies indicate that students may be more likely to cheat when they view cheating as not unethical or not a serious form of misconduct (Bolin 2004; Jensen et al. 2002; Salter et al. 2001; Tibbetts 1998). For example, an examination of college students ’moral evaluations of cheating behaviour in the United States showed that attitudes toward academic dishonesty Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 4 of 15 accounted for nearly 40 % of the variation in academically dishonest behaviour (Bolin 2004). Similarly, examining high school and college students, Jensen et al. (2002) found that students who evaluated cheating leniently were more likely to engage in cheating behaviour themselves. Thus, attitudes may play an important role in explaining cheat- ing behaviour. Peer involvement in academic dishonesty Students who overestimate peer involvement in academic misconduct may believe cheating to be the norm and therefore engage in this behaviour themselves (Conway et al. 2006). Thus, peer involvement in academic dishonesty is another contextual fac- tor that can lead to student violations of academic integrity rules (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; McCabe and Trevino 1997; Tibbetts 1998). This was a key finding of the research conducted by Tibbetts (1998), who found that university stu- dents studying a criminal justice major were significantly more likely to cheat if they had friends that they knew had previously engaged in or continued to engage in test cheating. Similarly, using a vignette design O ’Rourke et al. (2010) found that the deci- sion to cheat was largely determined by observation of other students ’cheating behav- iour within the classroom setting. Collectively the extant research points to a number of aspects warranting investiga- tion amongst Australian criminal justice and policing students. Firstly, academic dis- honesty is more prevalent in males, those from an ethnic minority, and those with poor English language skills. Secondly, there are a range of motivations and related neutrali- sations employed by students to justify their engagement in academic dishonesty. Thirdly, attitudes towards academic dishonesty are related to engagement in cheating behaviours. Finally, research has also shown that if students believe that cheating be- haviour is normative within their institution they are more likely to engage in academic misconduct themselves. These findings provide challenges for university administrators and academics when attempting to curb academic dishonesty within their institutions and therefore are the key points of investigation for the current study. Purpose of the study The findings of existing research have provided vital knowledge for universities around the world in their continuing efforts to detect and prevent academic dishonesty (Whitley and Keith-Spiegel 2002). While research has been conducted on academic dishonesty amongst American students within criminal justice faculties (e.g. Lambert and Hogan 2004; Tibbetts 1998), no research has been conducted to examine whether there are par- ticular individual characteristics and contextual factors that predict involvement in aca- demic dishonesty among Australian criminology students. This lack of knowledge exists despite the effects of academic dishonesty on universities and also despite the importance of preventing academic dishonesty amongst criminology students, where an academic dis- honesty charge may represent a significant barrier for student employment within the legal, criminal justice system and policing sector. This study aims to begin to address these gaps and to make recommendations of the prevention of academic dishonesty amongst criminal justice and policing students. To achieve this aim, this study examines which individual and contextual factors are predictive of engagement in academic dishon- esty among criminal justice and policing students in Australia. Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 5 of 15 Methodology Data and sample The undergraduate criminal justice and policing students sampled for this study were enrolled at a small department within a large public university in Australia; there are 37 public and 2 private universities in Australia. The university at which the study was conducted enrols approximately 30,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. The uni- versity actively publicises institution-wide rules relating to the standards of academic integrity within written teaching materials, in classes and in online materials. Under these rules, a number of academically dishonest behaviours are prohibited and subject to disciplinary action. This includes minor plagiarism (e.g. inadequate referencing) and major plagiarism (e.g. submitting assignments written by someone else) on written as- signments. The rules further prohibit forms of academic dishonesty in exams and tests (e.g. copying from another student). The university requires students to sign a declar- ation in exams and on completed assignments, stating that they have not breached the rules regarding academic integrity. Participants were recruited using a purposive sampling strategy. Under this ap- proach, students attending a lecture for an undergraduate research methods course were invited by their lecturer to participate in a research project on academic dishon- esty. This was a core course, and all students were required to complete the course in the second or third year of their degree. The sample was chosen as it contained students who had been studying at the university for at least one year, allowing time for the students to gain an understanding of the university rules as well as an oppor- tunity to engage in or observe academic dishonesty in the various subjects they had studied during this time. The course had 172 students enrolled in an on-campus study mode, of which 79 completed the survey. Respondents with completed data on all of the variables were included in the analyses (n = 72, representing 91.1 % of the original sample). It is recognised that those most likely to display academic difficulties may not be included in the sample as it is possible that only the most diligent and conscientious students attend lectures. Therefore, any estimates of association will be conservative. As an incentive for participation, students were offered a non-coercive reward of 3 % extra academic credit in the subject that they were studying. Students who did not wish to participate were given the option of completing another short research task to gain the 3 % extra academic credit. Data were collected by administering a modified version of the Academic Dishonesty Survey (McCabe 2003) which is available from the corre- sponding author. In compliance with Australian National Ethical Guidelines, the ques- tionnaire had a coversheet that outlined the nature of the research project, provided assurances that participant confidentiality and anonymity would be maintained, and provided contact details for the Principal Researcher and the University Ethics Committee. Measures Demographic variables Two demographic variables were included in the current study: gender and language background. Respondents who indicated that English was not their first language were classified as coming from a non-English speaking background (NESB). Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 6 of 15 Academic dishonesty engagement To measure academic dishonesty, the current study utilised the Academic Dishonesty Scale of the Academic Dishonesty Survey (McCabe 2003). The scale utilised asked par- ticipants about their involvement in 25 different behaviours considered to be academic dishonesty. The response categories included 1 ( never ), 2 ( once ), and 3 ( more than once ). The scores for the 25 items were summated to create an overall academic dis- honesty score for each participant. Cronbach ’s alpha revealed adequate internal consistency for the items on the scale ( α= 0.65). The scale displayed a positive skew and therefore a log transformation of the scale was used in the preliminary analyses (McCabe and Trevino 1993; Tabachnick and Fidell 2007). However, the use of the transformed scale did not make a meaningful difference to the pattern of results, there- fore the untransformed scale is presented for ease of interpretation. Justifications for engaging in academic dishonesty Student views regarding the circumstances under which academic dishonesty is justi- fied were also assessed using a measure from the Academic Dishonesty Survey (McCabe 2003). This measure contains 12 different potential reasons for engaging in academic dishonesty and participants were asked to indicate whether they agreed that the academic misconduct was justified in each of the listed circumstances. The re- sponses were coded into a dichotomous variable. Respondents who agreed with at least one of the items on the scale were classified as holding justifications for engaging in academic dishonesty. Thus, this measure provides an indication of students ’justifica- tions for academically dishonest conduct. Perceived seriousness of academic dishonesty Given that delinquent behaviour may be more prevalent among individuals who hold favourable attitudes toward this type of conduct (e.g. Farrington 2005), it is important to measure students ’attitudes toward academic dishonesty. Student views on the de- gree to which academic dishonesty is a serious form of misconduct were assessed using 25 items from the Academic Dishonesty Survey (McCabe 2003). Participants were asked to rate whether 25 different forms of academic dishonesty were serious forms of cheating. The responses were reported on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree )to5( strongly agree ). The scores for the items were summated to cre- ate an overall academic dishonesty seriousness score for each participant. Cronbach ’s alpha revealed high internal consistency for the items on the scale ( α= 0.95). As the scale displayed a negative skew it was subject to reflection and square root transform- ation (Tabachnick and Fidell 2007). However, similar to the academic dishonesty measure, the use of the transformed scale did not make a meaningful difference to the pattern of results, therefore the untransformed scale is presented for ease of interpretation. Perceived peer engagement in academic dishonesty Students may be more likely to engage in academic dishonesty if they believe this be- haviour to be the norm (Conway et al. 2006). To measure the perceived extent of other students ’engagement in academic misconduct, students were asked how frequently they believed any of the following occurred on campus: plagiarism, inappropriate Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 7 of 15 sharing in group assignments, cheating during tests/examinations, and falsifying re- search data. This measure of perceptions of peer involvement in academic dishonesty is consistent with those used in the field (e.g. Kremmer et al. 2007; McCabe and Trevino 1993). While not a direct measure of peer involvement, it provides a gauge of the indi- vidual ’s context and whether they believe academic dishonesty is normative. The items were taken from the Academic Dishonesty Survey (McCabe 2003). The responses were reported on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 ( never )to5( very often ). The scores for the three items were summated to create an overall perceived peer engagement score for each participant. Cronbach ’s alpha revealed adequate internal consistency for the items on the scale ( α= 0.74). The scale was normally distributed. Analysis All respondents with complete data were included in the analyses, resulting in a total sample size of 72 (91.1 % of the original sample). No variable had missing data of more than 5 %. An inspection of the missing cases revealed that they displayed similar demo- graphic characteristics to the respondents included in the analyses. Data were analysed using SPSS Statistical Software, version 21. First, descriptive statistics were generated. Second, a multiple regression model was estimated to establish the relative predictive effects of individual and contextual factors on academic dishonesty engagement. VIF and tolerance values revealed no issues of collinearity in the regression model. Inspec- tion of the residuals confirmed that the data met the general assumptions of multiple regression models (e.g. normality, linearity, homoscedasticity). Due to the relatively small sample size adjusted R squared is reported (Tabachnick and Fidell 2007). Results Descriptive statistics Results in Table 1 show that two-thirds of respondents were female and that the major- ity of respondents reported coming from a non-English speaking background. Results further show that respondents scored an average of 28.88 on the academic dishonesty scale. Closer examination of this variable revealed that the most commonly reported Table 1 Descriptive statistics (n = 72) Variable Number Percent M SD Min Max Gender Male 22 30.56 Female 50 69.44 Language background ESB 65 90.28 NESB 7 9.72 Academic dishonesty engagement 28.88 3.25 25 40 Justifications No justifications 24 33.33 At least one justification 48 66.67 Perceived seriousness 104.46 14.45 31 125 Perceived peer engagement 12.24 2.69 4 19 Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 8 of 15 acts of academic dishonesty included sharing an assignment with others to use as an example (55.56 %), working on an individual assignment together with others (48.61 %), and copying a few sentences from a written source without citing (44.44 %). Results in Table 1 further show that two-thirds of respondents believed academic dis- honesty to be justified under certain circumstances. The most common justifications included time pressure (48.61 %), fear of failure (48.61 %), and to pass a course (41.67 %). As per Table 1, respondents scored on average 104.46 on the scale measuring perceived seriousness of academic dishonesty. The least serious acts (as measured by the prevalence rate of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing) included: work- ing on an individual assignment together with others (43.06 %), sharing an assignment with others to use as an example (37.50 %), and copying a friend ’s computer program (19.44 %). Finally, Table 1 reveals a mean perceived peer engagement score of 12.24. In particular, respondents most commonly reported that they believed inappropriate shar- ing on group assignments was occurring often or very often on campus (61.11 %). Multivariate analyses A multiple regression was performed to examine which individual and contextual fac- tors were predictive of self-reported academic dishonesty. As shown in Table 2, the model accounted for significant variance (26.20 %) in academic dishonesty engagement (F(5,66) = 6.04, p = 0.001). Inspection of the coefficients revealed that males scored sig- nificantly higher on the academic dishonesty scale than females. In contrast, language background did not make a significant contribution to the model. Of the contextual factors, only two were statistically significant. The coefficients revealed that a stronger belief in academic dishonesty being justified significantly predicted higher student in- volvement in academic dishonesty, as did viewing academic dishonesty as less serious. In contrast, perceived peer engagement in academic dishonesty was not found to be a statistically significant predictor of self-reported academic dishonesty involvement. Discussion The primary aim of this study was to explore the predictors of academic dishonesty amongst a sample of criminal justice and policing students enrolled at an Australian university. Drawing upon data obtained from a questionnaire, the results suggest that Table 2 Regression of gender, language background, justifications, perceived seriousness and peer engagement on academic dishonesty (n = 72) Variable B S.E. Beta t p Individual factors Gender (1 = male) 1.67 0.76 0.24 2.21 0.031 Language background (1 = NESB) 1.02 1.15 0.09 0.89 0.379 Contextual factors Justifications 1.80 0.75 0.26 2.41 0.019 Perceived seriousness 0.06 0.03 0.27 2.45 0.017 Perceived peer engagement 0.20 0.13 0.17 1.62 0.110 Constant 30.93 3.16 9.78 0.000 Adjusted R 2 0.262 Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 9 of 15 male gender is an individual characteristic predictive of higher involvement in academic dishonesty. This is consistent with research from Australia and other countries ( Jensen et al. 2002; Kremmer et al. 2007) as well as research on criminal justice students (Lambert and Hogan 2004). The results further suggest that considering academic dis- honesty to be justified under certain circumstances is predictive of academic dishonesty engagement. This is consistent with previous research, which shows that students re- port a number of motivations and justifications for engaging in this type of behaviour (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; Jensen et al. 2002). In addition, the results show that viewing academic dishonesty as less serious is a contextual factor predictive of aca- demic dishonesty, similar to other research findings (Bolin 2004; Tibbetts 1998). Thus, based on the results of the current study and the research literature, it appears as though the predictors of academic dishonesty are relatively similar for the sample of Australian criminal justice and policing students used in the current research and uni- versity/college students from other disciplines and countries. Nonetheless, a couple of interesting findings were observed. First, perceptions of peer engagement in academic dishonesty was not found to be predictive of student behav- iour in the current study, despite the research literature frequently reporting peer behaviour as one of the main predictors of academic dishonesty (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005; McCabe and Trevino 1997; Tibbetts 1998). One speculative ex- planation for this may be that criminal justice and policing students are not influenced by peer behaviour to the same extent as students in other disciplines but this requires further research. One existing study suggests that this is not the case; criminal justice students were more strongly affected by peer behaviour compared with non-criminal justice students (Tibbetts 1998). Another explanation may be that the internalisation of perceived social norms is more influential than the actual behaviour displayed by peers. Thus, exposure to peer behaviour may instil a belief system condoning the use of dis- honest behaviour in academic settings (e.g. Akers 1998), suggesting that the influence of peer involvement may be indirectly linked to behaviour through the mediating effect of attitudes. Further research is needed to examine these potential explanations. In addition, language background was not found to be predictive of engagement in aca- demic dishonesty in the current study, despite prior research suggesting it might be (Marshall and Garry 2006). There may be a simple explanation for this. Rather than measuring English language proficiency the current study examined whether or not re- spondents came from an English-speaking background. However, having English as a sec- ond language does not necessarily equate to low English proficiency. Rather, a range of individual and contextual factors has been shown to influence second language acquisi- tion (e.g. Ellis 1997). As most Australian universities require a certain level of English competency for admission to their academic courses/degrees (e.g. overall IELTS band score of 6.0, indicating a competent user), it may be that the language skills in the current sample were moderately high despite some respondents coming from non-English speak- ing backgrounds. Since it has been suggested that students with weaker English skills are less likely to cope with academic expectations and experience higher levels of academic stress than other students (Wan et al. 1992), future research will need to examine further whether level of English proficiency is predictive of academically dishonest conduct. Several policy implications flow from the findings of this research. The findings sup- port the continuation of existing policies as well as the development of new ones. Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 10 of 15 Importantly, faculties offering criminology, criminal justice and policing degrees should implement a range of practical strategies in order to prevent academic misconduct and its associated effects on individuals, the student body and university institutions. In par- ticular, universities need to develop strategies to ensure students understand that academic dishonesty is a serious form of misconduct, and that the university is under- taking steps to detect academic dishonesty. The results of this research suggest that students are more likely to engage in academic dishonesty if they view it as a less ser- ious form of academic misconduct. This is consistent with theories proposing that indi- viduals who hold antisocial attitudes are more perceptive to engaging in delinquent behaviour when the opportunity to do so arises (e.g. Farrington 2005). Other research has found lower acceptability of cheating and plagiarism to be predicted by students ’ understanding of academic dishonesty policies (Kuntz and Butler 2014). Thus, one means to address students ’lenient attitudes would be to increase their awareness of university policies on what constitutes academic dishonesty. However, although the current sample was drawn from a university that actively pub- licises institution-wide rules relating to the standards of academic integrity, results from other research suggest that some students are not aware of university policies regarding dishonesty ( Jordan 2001). This is concerning because it may be that some students are unknowingly engaging in acts that constitute academic dishonesty. There are a number of effective ways to promote student awareness of academic integrity policies, including ensuring that information is made easily accessible online through a centralised univer- sity website (Bretag et al. 2011b). However, research examining online academic integ- rity policies within Australian universities suggests that this is not always achieved, as several policies often co-exist and are sometimes not up-to-date (Bretag et al. 2011b). In addition, teaching staff should also place emphasis on providing students with exam- ples of what constitutes academic dishonesty within the classroom setting and may for example convene specific sessions with students on these issues (Blum 2009). These sessions may not only assist by providing students with better knowledge of policy but also provide an opportunity for policy improvement as students could be asked for constructive feedback on whether they view existing policies as effective or fair and for their views on ways in which policy could be improved (Blum 2009). Another way that many universities currently convey the seriousness of academic dis- honesty to students is through the imposition of penalties ranging from a reduced grade to expulsion from a degree program. Although not explicitly examined in the current study, penalties enforced against students for academic dishonesty may serve a deterrent function (McCabe and Trevino 1997; Michaels and Miethe 1989). The theor- etical argument is that perceptions of the certainty of detection and severity of punish- ment serve as deterrents for students to engage in academic dishonesty (Paternoster 1987). However, research has generated mixed results, with some finding an effect of severity (McCabe and Trevino 1993), some finding an effect of certainty but not severity (Nagin and Pogarsky 2003), and others finding no effect for either construct (Cochran et al. 1999) on academic dishonesty. Thus, the publication and administration of penalties should not be the sole means by which students are alerted that academic dishonesty is a serious form of misconduct that has consequences. In fact, Roberts-Cady (2008) notes that by implementing such policies, faculties are merely manipulating student behaviour as opposed to addressing Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 11 of 15 students ’ethical decision making. Instead, faculties should focus more attention on in- creasing moral development through incorporation of moral philosophy and ethical discussion into the curriculum (Davis et al. 2009; Roberts-Cady 2008). Yet, only one- third of universities in Australia have developing student integrity as their main focus (Bretag et al. 2011a). There is some evidence to suggest that including ethics components into university degrees reduces illicit collaborations between students (Reisenwitz 2012). The inclusion of ethics into the curriculum would convey to stu- dents that academic dishonesty is not only serious because it results in penalties that can jeopardise future study and employment, but also that it represents unethical be- haviour toward other students and the university. Consistent with Kohlberg ’s theory of moral development, the incorporation of moral education in the academic curriculum provides students with the scaffold with which to progress to higher levels of moral reasoning (Kohlberg and Hersh 1977). Furthermore, Wikström et al. (2012) argue that people ’s moral actions are action alternatives that operate in a particular situation. A situation that discourages academic dishonesty via well established moral norms against academic dishonesty and enforcement of these norms is more likely to lead to individuals engaging in actions in line with these norms. The development of moral reasoning is particularly relevant for criminal justice and policing graduates, since they may exercise a large amount of discretionary powers as part of their prospective work roles. University efforts to prevent academic dishonesty should further place emphasis on trying to break down student beliefs that academic dishonesty can be justified. Accord- ing to neutralisation theory, individuals who would normally experience guilt when engaging in delinquent behaviour can effectively ‘neutralise ’this guilt by engaging in a number of methods, such as denying responsibility and denying that any injury has been caused (Sykes and Matza 1957). Consistent with previous research (e.g. Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005), the results of the current research suggest that a substan- tial number of students viewed academic dishonesty as justified because of time pres- sure, fear of failure, or in order to pass a course. To circumvent these neutralisations it is necessary: to provide cognitive-based approaches for students; for students to accept responsibility; and to neutralise the neutralisations (adapted from Maruna and Copes 2005). One way of providing cognitive-based approaches and encouraging stu- dents to accept responsibility would be for universities and academic staff to make greater efforts to link students to sources of support within the university. For ex- ample, where possible, students could be informed by academic staff that they can ac- cess student counselling services on campus in order to manage course related stress and anxiety, a potential motivational factor for cheating. Furthermore, to minimise risk of academic misconduct, students who are suffering time pressures and work long hours in paid employment should be encouraged to attend time and study manage- ment courses that aim to increase student productivity. Advertising is another meas- ure that could also be implemented to reduce student perceptions of academic dishonesty as justified (i.e. as a means of neutralising the neutralisations). This in- cludes using specifically developed websites, campus posters and pamphlets that iden- tify the most commonly used neutralisations. These advertisements should convey to students that academic dishonesty is never justified on the basis of these neutralisa- tions. Furthermore, it should be made clear that it is unethical and that there are Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 12 of 15 negative consequences of academic dishonesty for individuals, the student body and university institutions. Limitations In interpreting the findings of this study, two key limitations need to be taken into con- sideration. A major limitation of this study relates to the sample of participants. The sample was relatively small with a low prevalence of students from non-English speak- ing backgrounds. In these circumstances, the findings of this study may lack generalis- ability and needs to be replicated by other researchers utilising larger samples and over-sampling students from non-English speaking backgrounds. In addition, the use of a sample of students attending lectures provides a potential bias, as more diligent and conscientious students may be more likely to attend class. Thus, it is likely that the re- sults from this study are conservative. Another potential limitation of this study relates to the measure of academic dishon- esty used. To measure academic dishonesty, this study required student participants to self-report how many times they had engaged in 25 different types of academic dishon- esty and this was used to create an overall academic dishonesty score for each partici- pant. A concern with this measure is that it may be too complex to expect students to remember whether they had ever engaged in different types of academic dishonesty. There is also the potential for bias on the self-reports of academic dishonesty of the participants. As argued by Farrington and Ttofi (2014), when discussing the disclosure of offending behaviour, self-reports open up the possibility of both exaggeration and concealment. However, the advantage of the measure used in this study is that it pro- vides a strong indication of student involvement in a wide range of different behaviours that would constitute academic misconduct at many universities. Directions for future research At present, limited research has examined the prevalence and predictors of academic dis- honesty within Australian universities. This is unfortunate, as data from other countries with different socio-historical contexts may not be directly generalisable to the Australian context (Brimble and Stevenson-Clarke 2005). Furthermore, there is a need to build upon the results of this study regarding academic dishonesty amongst policing and criminal justice students in Australia. This is particularly relevant given the level of attention afforded corruption and misconduct issues within the criminal justice sector in Australia. Future studies should test the findings of this research using a larger and more represen- tative sample in order to increase our understanding of academic dishonesty amongst Australian students studying criminal justice and policing. Additionally, future research should also place emphasis on continuing to unpack the important relationships between individual and contextual factors and levels of academic dishonesty (McCabe et al. 2001), including examining causal relationships. Furthermore, further research is also required to address the task of examining preventative methods used in university institutions to reduce levels of academic dishonesty. This research should utilise strong experimental designs that compare levels of academic dishonesty in universities with and without particular prevention strategies in place. It is only through the maintenance of a strong research agenda on academic dishonesty that the causes and best practice for reducing its incidence both within and outside the discipline of criminology will be better understood. Eriksson and McGee International Journal for Educational Integrity (2015) 11:5 Page 13 of 15 Competing interests The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Authors ’contributions Both authors contributed extensively to the work presented in this manuscript. TRM designed the research plan and organised the study. LE ran analyses and drafted the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the finalmanuscript. Research assistants Denise Foster and Michael Cerruto contributed to the data entry and literaturesearches. Authors ’information Li Eriksson, PhD, is a Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. Her research forms part of the Australian Homicide Project, which is a national ARC Discovery project examining developmental and situational pathways to homicide. Her research interests include violence, intimate partner homicide, filicide andcriminological theory. Before joining Griffith University, Li worked as a Research Analyst for the Swedish NationalCouncil for Crime Prevention. Tara Renae McGee, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University. Her research interests focus on the development of offending over the life-course. Her current project is a longitudinalstudy examining the third generation of an Australian birth cohort. Tara is a founding co-editor of the Journal ofDevelopmental and Life-Course Criminology, with Paul Mazerolle. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Michael Cerruto and Denise Foster for their contributions to the research project and earlier versions of the paper. The authors also wish to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback on this paper. Received: 13 May 2014 Accepted: 30 April 2015 ReferencesAkers R (1998) Social learning and social structure: a general theory of crime and deviance. Northeastern University Press, Boston Allen J, Fuller D, Luckett M (1998) Academic integrity: behaviors, rates, and attitudes of business students toward cheating. J Mark Educ 20:41 –52 Blum SD (2009) My word! Plagiarism and college culture. Cornell University Press, Ithaca Bolin AU (2004) Self-control, perceived opportunity, and attitudes as predictors of academic dishonesty. 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Discussion topic Academic Honesty of CJ Students and Detective Moral Integrity. You will have two choices of topics to research and read about. Select one and repone accordingly Academic Honesty o
Content downloaded/printed from HeinOnline Fri Aug 9 09:26:11 2019 Citations: Bluebook 20th ed. Seumas Miller, Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility, 33 CRIM. JUST. ETHICS 21, 39 (2014). APA 6th ed. Miller, S. (2014). Police detectives, criminal investigations and collective moral responsibility. Criminal Justice Ethics, 33(1), 21-39. Chicago 7th ed. Seumas Miller, “Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility,” Criminal Justice Ethics 33, no. 1 (April 2014): 21-39 McGill Guide 9th ed. Seumas Miller, “Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility” (2014) 33:1 Crim Justice Ethics 21. MLA 8th ed. Miller, Seumas. “Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility.” Criminal Justice Ethics, vol. 33, no. 1, April 2014, pp. 21-39. HeinOnline. OSCOLA 4th ed. Seumas Miller, ‘Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility’ (2014) 33 CRIM JUST ETHICS 21 — Your use of this HeinOnline PDF indicates your acceptance of HeinOnline’s Terms and Conditions of the license agreement available at https://heinonline.org/HOL/License — The search text of this PDF is generated from uncorrected OCR text. — To obtain permission to use this article beyond the scope of your license, please use: Copyright Information Use QR Code reader to send PDF to your smartphone or tablet device Criminal Justice Ethics, 2014 1) Roudedge Vol. 33, No. 1, 21-39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0731129X.2014.906094 % Ty,’mndc,oGp ARTICLE Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility SEUMAS MILLER* In this paper my concern is with the collective moral responsibility of criminal investigators for the outcomes of their investigations, bearing in mind that it is important to distinguish collective moral responsibility from, and relate it to, individual moral responsibility. In what sense, if any, are police detectives individually and collectively morally responsible for their success (or, for that matter, their failure) in gathering sufficient evidence to identify, arrest, and charge an offender who has committed a serious crime? Alternatively, in what sense are they morally responsible in cases where they identify, arrest, and charge an innocent person? And in what sense, if any, are police detectives individually and collectively morally responsible for the ultimate outcome of the trial, the finding by the courts of someone they have investigated and charged with a serious crime to be guilty or innocent? Keywords: criminal investigation, detective, moral responsibility, collective responsibility, chain of responsibility, institutional responsibility Introduction Serious crimes, such as murder and rape, often trigger major investigations with a large team of investigators, analysts, forensic specialists, and so on; hence the relevance to criminal investigators of the notion of collective responsibility and, given the moral significance of serious crimes, collective moral responsibility. Naturally, such *Seumas Miller, Charles Sturt University, Australia and Delft University of Technology. Email: [email protected] investigations can be more or less suc- cessful in a variety of aspects. Consider, for example, the major crime investiga- tion of the so-called “Yorkshire Ripper” in the U.K. Peter Sutcliffe, the “York- shire Ripper,” was arrested and charged in 1981. He was convicted of 13 counts of murder and 7 counts of attempted murder, the first murder taking place in 1975. So the investiga- tion was ultimately successful. How- ever, the West Yorkshire police initially failed to connect Sutcliffe to the Ripper murders, even though they interviewed him a number of times. On one occa- sion, while stalking, he was charged © 2014 John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York Seumas Miller with “going equipped to steal” – he had a hammer in his pocket.’ In this paper my concern is with the collective moral responsibility of criminal investigators for the out- comes of their investigations, bearing in mind that it is important to distin- guish collective moral responsibility from, and relate it to, individual moral responsibility. In what sense, if any, are police detectives individually and collectively morally responsible for their success (or, for that matter, their failure) in gathering sufficient evid- ence to identify, arrest, and charge an offender who has committed a serious crime? Alternatively, in what sense are they morally responsible in cases where they identify, arrest, and charge an innocent person? And in what sense, if any, are police detectives individually and collectively morally responsible for the ultimate outcome of the trial, the finding by the courts of someone they have investigated and charged with a serious crime to be guilty or innocent? In order to adequately address these related questions I need ana- lyses of three key notions-namely, epistemic responsibility, collective moral responsibility, and what I will refer to as the chain of institutional and moral responsibility. In the first section of this paper I elaborate the notion of epi- stemic responsibility and apply it to criminal investigations. I take it that such investigations are essentially epistemic activities, since their main purpose or end is an epistemic one- namely, knowledge (e.g., knowledge of the identity of the “Yorkshire Ripper”) or, more broadly, under- standing, where the understanding in question is a structure of (so to speak) items of knowledge compris- ing in part knowledge as to the identity of the offender, the identity of the victim, and the nature of the crime and details of the crime scene, but also the offender’s motive and modus operandi, the events leading up to and following on from the crime, the other actors involved and their roles, and so on. 2 In the second section, I define my key notion of collective moral responsibility and apply it to those who participate in major criminal investigations. In the third section, I introduce a novel notion-namely, that of the chain of institutional and moral responsibility -and apply it to the contribution of criminal investigators to some of the larger purposes of the criminal justice system served by criminal investiga- tions. Chains of moral responsibility exist on the back of chains of institu- tional responsibility. There are institu- tional links between police detectives, prosecutors, and the members of a jury, for example, since the investiga- tions of detectives institutionally trig- ger prosecutions, which in turn can trigger trials, which terminate in decisions by juries. These links form an institutional chain and one which has moral significance; hence my notion of a chain of institutional and moral responsibility. 1. Epistemic Responsibility and Criminal Investigations I suggest, and have argued else- (in the above-described broader sense where, that the fundamental point of of understanding) and, more specif- criminal investigation is knowledge ically, propositional knowledge Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility expressed in statements-since such knowledge needs to be communi- cated to others and ought not to remain a private aspect of the inves- tigator’s consciousness. 3 In short, criminal investigators ought to have the acquisition of communicable knowledge as their principal aim or end. Accordingly, a necessary con- dition for being a good investigator is to aim at producing knowledge. An otherwise highly skilled invest- igator, who does not have know- ledge with respect to crimes and their perpetrators as his overriding aim, but rather (say) a desire to have a very high clear-up or conviction rate, will not be a good investigator. For example, the highly skilled investigator who nevertheless ignores counter-evidence when forced to choose between getting to the truth of the matter (and thereby coming to have knowledge) and securing convictions is not a good investigator. It has been suggested 4 that the aim of investigation and therefore of investigators is not knowledge (let alone truth) but is, rather, simply to gather evidence (both inculpatory and exculpatory) and that knowledge or the truth of the matter is the concern of the courts. However, this suggestion misunderstands the rela- tionship between evidence and truth. Rational evidence-gathering is neces- sarily guided by truth. Good and decisive evidence is evidence for the truth of the matter at issue – whether or not the suspect commit- ted the crime, for example -and so truth-seeking gives direction to evid- ence-gathering. It follows that an investigator who is not aiming at the truth of the matter -for example, with respect to who killed John Doe’s wife (and when, where, how, why, and so on)-would not know, or even care to know, what counted as evidence and what did not, and would not seek to unearth as much and as much good evidence as pos- sible. Of course, it is not up to the investigator to make the final adju- dication with respect to the legal guilt of a suspect, but that is a different (albeit related) matter to which I return below. 6 It goes without saying that the pursuit of knowledge with respect to criminal acts and their perpetrators is constrained by the law. Moreover, knowledge is not the only aim of criminal investigation; criminal investigation has other additional aims, and ought to have them. Such purposes include bringing offenders to justice, crime prevention, intelli- gence-gathering, protection of wit- nesses, asset recovery, ensuring reasonable clear-up and conviction rates (as we saw above), and so on. However, I claim that these are sec- ondary purposes for investigators by virtue of being, for example, derived purposes, or larger institutional pur- poses from which the investigator’s primary purpose is itself derived. Crime prevention is an instance of the latter; intelligence-gathering an instance of the former. Moreover, some of these secondary purposes, such as witness protection, are both derived purposes and ends in them- selves. Witness protection is a derived purpose in so far as it is practised in order to aid in uncover- ing the truth and in bringing an offender to justice. But witnesses also have a non-derived inherent moral right to be protected from violence, intimidation, and so on, a right they have in common with everyone else, whether they be a witness or not. Seumas Miller Here I need to emphasize the distinction between factual guilt and legal guilt. It is the investigator’s role to arrive at knowledge in respect of whether or not a suspect is factually guilty, and, if so, to recommend that the suspect be prosecuted (or other- wise present this knowledge to the relevant prosecuting authority). But factual guilt is not legal guilt. Legal guilt is, of course, a matter for the courts to determine. Naturally, a sus- pect ought to be found legally guilty only if he or she in fact committed the crime (i.e., is factually guilty); but, to reiterate, legal guilt is not for the investigator to determine. It is sometimes suggested that there is no such thing as factual guilt, but only legal guilt. However, surely someone who in fact committed (say) an act of murder (by deliberately, unnecessarily, and unlawfully killing a person), and yet is pronounced in the relevant court of law to be inno- cent, is in point of fact-the formal verdict notwithstanding-guilty of murder by virtue of having intention- ally killed the person in question and done so in breach of the law. Courts of law can and do pronounce on the guilt or innocence of those who come before them, but they cannot (and, therefore, do not) magically change the past. If as a matter of fact in 2012 A intentionally killed B in breach of the law (i.e., if A is factually guilty) then a court sitting in 2013 cannot change that fact. Accordingly, if the court in question pronounces A to be innocent, then the court has made a mistake. I have argued that the fundamental point of criminal investigations is to acquire propositional knowledge. The knowledge in question can be summarized as the what, who, when, where, why, and how of a crime. Propositional knowledge is at least true belief expressed in a language; so knowledge is true, stated belief. 7 Indeed, since the knowledge aimed at by criminal investigators not only has to be communicated to some others- for example, fellow investigators-but ultimately also has to become a matter of common knowledge in a public legal setting, then this aimed-at know- ledge is knowledge expressed in state- ments and in accordance with various institutional protocols- for example, in the context of a brief of evidence. If knowledge is at least true belief, then an existing state of affairs-for example, a dead body-is not a mat- ter of knowledge until it, so to speak, ‘enters the head’ of someone- that is, becomes the content of a belief. How- ever, in order for a belief to be knowledge it must be a true belief; falsehoods are not knowledge. If someone believes that the world is flat, or that 2 + 2 = 5, then that person has a false belief and therefore does not have knowledge. So knowledge is at least true belief. But what is truth? Roughly speaking, a belief or state- ment is true if, and only if, the world is as the belief or statement holds it to be. 8 Thus, the belief or statement that snow is white is true if snow is in fact white and, indeed, only if in fact snow is white, and the belief or statement that this blood sample is that of Jones is true if, and only if, it is in fact that of Jones. To this extent the so-called correspondence theory of truth is acceptable, indeed trivi- ally true. Moreover, beliefs, judgments, state- ments, assertions, and the like have truth as their point; a statement, judg- ment, belief, and so on ought to aim at the truth and, if it turns out to be false, then it is defective qua statement, judgment, belief, and so on. Or, to put Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility things slightly differently, these states or acts “aim at” reality, and are suc- cessful-that is, true-in so far as reality is as they hold it to be. Consider a detective’s evidence-based judgment that a suspect robbed the bank. In making this judgment, the detective is aiming at reality, trying to get it right in relation to whether the suspect in reality committed the crime. If it turns out that the suspect was in fact over- seas on the date in question and therefore could not have committed the crime, then the detective’s judg- ment will have failed; it will have turned out to be a false judgment. So judgments and statements are truth-aiming; they are teleological phe- nomena. Truth is what judgments, statements, assertions, beliefs, and the like aim at, or at least ought to aim at (given that there are liars and loose talkers who do not in fact aim at truth) and it is the property possessed by judgments, statements, assertions, and beliefs when reality is as they hold it to be. The investigator attains truth when he or she has a true belief that (say) Peter Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper. However, truth in the sense of true belief is not sufficient in this context. The investigator needs to be able to justify his or her true belief by recourse to evidence. Moreover, this justification must consist in reasons- namely, good and decisive reasons; a bad reason is an unacceptable justi- fication and a good reason is not necessarily sufficient to warrant true belief (there might be, for example, a countervailing good reason not to hold that belief). Typically, there will be a set of good reasons that cumula- tively should constitute a decisive reason for the investigator’s true belief. Accordingly, the investigator has as a goal justified true belief. But justified true belief is knowledge (or so I am assuming). So knowledge, specifically propositional knowledge expressed in statements, is the goal of the investigator. I note that if knowledge is expressed in statements and, specifically, in writ- ten form, then it is possible for it to be to be stored in libraries, databases, and the like, making it thereby available for access by multiple users. Indeed, if it is further rendered in electronic form and stored in large databases, then the com- bining, cross-tabulating, and so on of different items of knowledge becomes possible, which is of enormous signific- ance for intelligence-based investiga- tion. I also note that what might count as a good and decisive reason for a belief outside a formal legal setting might not count for one within the courtroom setting in particular. For example, some forms of evidence are not admissible in a court of law because they were gath- ered unlawfully. The notion of know- ledge relies on justification in its ordinary, non-legal sense. In summation, the investigator has as his or her goal-or, at least, ought to have-knowledge in the fol- lowing (somewhat simplified) sense (and using the above example): (i) the investigator believes that Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper; (ii) it is true that Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper; (iii) the investigator has a justification (which consists of a number of rea- sons that cumulatively constitute a good and decisive reason) for believ- ing Sutcliffe to be the Yorkshire Rip- per-for example, Sutcliffe has the motive, the ability, and the opportun- ity and there is physical evidence of his presence at the various crime scenes; (iv) the investigator has expressed the proposition that Seumas Miller Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper in a statement or series of statements. Given that the primary aim of the criminal investigator is knowledge, a very important question arises as to the investigator’s moral responsibility in this regard. Is an investigator mor- ally responsible for failing to acquire such knowledge, for example, and is he or she therefore morally blame- worthy? Conversely, is an investig- ator who succeeds in acquiring such knowledge morally praiseworthy? Certainly, the outcomes of criminal investigations have great moral signi- ficance, both for victims as well as suspects and, indeed, for society at large, given that crime is typically a moral as well as a legal offence. Accordingly, in so far as investigators are responsible for these outcomes they can be held morally responsible. But are they responsible? An important difference between actions and beliefs is that actions can often be performed at will, whereas this is not so for belief acquisition. 9 Moreover, this contrast can lead to a sharp division between questions of morality and questions of know- ledge. Morality, it might be argued, pertains only to actions (and dispo- sitions to perform actions, e.g., vir- tues and vices), for which one can be held responsible, whereas belief acquisition-and therefore know- ledge acquisition-not being under control, can have no intrinsic moral dimension. To be sure, knowledge involves principles of rationality- for exam-ple, in relation to good and bad evidence for one’s beliefs- but such principles do not include, on this view, any specifically moral principles. If this view is correct, then criminal investigators are not morally responsible when they acquire knowledge of crimes and not morally responsible, either, when they fail to do so. However, it is doubtful that mor- ality pertains only to actions, and dispositions to perform actions, for which one can be held responsible. Bad character traits, such as racial hatred, a violent temper, and paedo- philia, for which one is not necessar- ily responsible, are nevertheless moral deficiencies and the actions that flow uncontrollably from these dispositions morally bad actions. Consider, for example, someone raised in a racist society, or a paedo- phile who was himself routinely sub- ject to sexual abuse as a child and developed paedophilia as a con- sequence. Indeed, lack of autonomy and therefore the inability to act with moral responsibility is itself a moral deficiency, notwithstanding that one might not be responsible for this lack-for example, if one was raised as a slave or became a drug addict in one’s mother’s womb-and not responsible, either, for the actions or omissions that manifest this lack. More importantly for our pur- poses here, this contrast between actions and beliefs in relation to their being freely acquired should not be overstated. 10 First, beliefs are often acquired after a process of investiga- tion, and the decision to investigate is a voluntary decision to act, for which an investigator can obviously be held morally responsible. For example, the belief that Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper could not have been acquired if detectives had not decided to investigate the murders of Yorkshire prostitutes. That is, without this act of will-to conduct an investigation- the detectives would simply not have had any belief with respect to the identity of the Yorkshire Ripper; they would have remained in a state of Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility ignorance. Moreover, given the moral significance of identifying the York- shire Ripper, deciding to remain in ignorance would have been morally culpable. Of course, in the case of the York- shire Ripper it was obvious that an investigation needed to be under- taken; the situation was far from being a moral dilemma. Nevertheless, a decision still had to be made to investigate-whether by the investi- gators themselves or their superiors -and as such it was a decision to acquire morally significant know- ledge rather than to remain in ignor- ance. That is, it was a decision for which the investigators were morally responsible (albeit, I suggest, one for which they were neither blamewor- thy nor praiseworthy, since it was, so to speak, their job to make it). By contrast with the Ripper case, there are many situations in which it is far from clear whether or not an invest- igation ought to be conducted. Per- haps resources are stretched, or perhaps it is not obvious that a crime has been committed, notwithstanding a claim to this effect by a member of the public. Decisions to investigate typically involve discretionary moral judg- ments. For example, an investigator might decide to investigate one ser- ious crime rather than a number of less serious ones in a context in which limited resources prevent her from investigating all of the crimes in question. Here, “serious” might refer in part to the degree of harm involved in the crime and, hence, the degree of moral significance in play. Indeed, on some occasions such judg- ments can be in effect that an invest- igation into a crime ought not to be conducted because the morally bad consequences of doing so heavily outweigh the morally good ones. Consider a minor assault of a man committed by his juvenile son in the overall context of a family in which the son is angry with his father because the father regularly beats the mother (who is, nevertheless, not prepared to come forward to the police). Consequently, moral respons- ibility is involved in decisions to investigate, and the latter are, in effect, decisions to come to have beliefs, albeit beliefs that are pre- ceded by a complex process of evid- ence-gathering, inference-making, and so on. It is not as if the process of belief-formation in question is sim- ple, direct, and performed at will in the manner of, say, raising one’s arm. However, the contrast between belief- formation and action is too sharply drawn in a second and, indeed, a third respect relevant to the ascrip- tion of moral responsibility. Belief-formation often results from investigations that comply with the rational principles that govern, or ought to govern, knowledge-acquisi- tion-for example, principles of evidence-gathering with respect to physical evidence and the testimony of witnesses. But compliance with such principles is freely chosen; detec- tives decide to gather, for example, blood samples from a crime scene and to submit them for DNA-analysis with a view to determining whether or not a suspect was present at the crime scene. Accordingly, whether or not the investigator’s suspicion transforms into a belief that the suspect is indeed the offender is in part dependent on the investigator’s freely chosen action to comply with the relevant epistemic principles, in this case of evidence- gathering and inference-making. So once again belief-formation is depend- ent on prior freely chosen actions. Seumas Miller However, in this case it is not simply the case that the detectives will come to hold some belief or other in relation to a matter-for example, who the Yorkshire Ripper is-but rather that a specific belief or its negation will be formed-for example, that Sutcliffe is the Yorkshire Ripper or that he is not. Again, which belief the detectives come to hold is highly morally signi- ficant by virtue of, for example, the potential injustice and harm to victims, the suspect, and so on that may result if a false belief is formed. Hence, it matters a great deal whether their belief is a true one or not, and this in turn depends on the quality of their decisions with respect to evidence- gathering and the like. The third respect in which belief formation is analogous to action is the following: beliefs are often the terminal point of an act of judgment and acts of judgment are often freely performed. For example, the belief that Sutcliffe was the Yorkshire Rip- per was formed as a result of the detectives’ judgment that on the basis of the evidence gathered he was the Yorkshire Ripper. Naturally, their judgment was not freely made, in the sense that they could make any old judgment they felt like making, including a judgment that was completely inconsistent with the evidence. But freely performed judg- ments are not to be identified with capricious or irrational judgments. And in this respect judgments are akin to actions in general: an action that is “compelled” by reason does not thereby cease to be a freely chosen action. Suppose a police officer uses a taser gun on an armed offender in self-defense and could not have done otherwise if he was to preserve his own life. Here the police officer has acted freely, notwithstanding that “he had no other choice”, rationally speaking; that is, his action was fully ration- ally justified and the alternative (to allow himself to be killed) was without rational justification (assuming taser guns to be a form of non-lethal force). The upshot of this discussion of the belief-formation of investigators is that investigators can be held mor- ally responsible for the outcomes of their investigations. As already sta- ted, the outcomes of these investiga- tions are morally significant for victims, suspects, and the wider com- munity. Moreover, investigators are responsible, in part, for these broader outcomes in so far as they are responsible for their investigation and its particular epistemic outcome viz. justified true, stated belief. An investigator is responsible for several aspects of an investigation, and with respect to each of them the possibility of success or failure arises. Speaking generally, an investigator is responsible for failing or succeeding in arriving at knowledge of the struc- tured kind in question. Moreover, there are a variety of explanations for such failure. The investigator’s failure could be the result of failing to commence the investigation, fail- ing to aim at knowledge once the investigation has commenced, inad- equate evidence-gathering, invalid inference-making, and/or lack of judgment. Conversely, his or her suc- cess will typically result from pursu- ing knowledge of the who, what, where, when, how, and why of the crime, engaging in careful and com- prehensive evidence-gathering, valid inference-making, and exercising good judgment. As it happens, many investiga- tions involve joint action on the part Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility of more than one investigator and other contributors (e.g., intelligence analysts or forensic scientists); they are conducted by a team of investiga- tors, and each member of the team makes a contribution to the common goal and relies on the others to make their contribution. This aspect of investigations raises the important moral issue of the collective moral responsibility of investigators, the issue discussed in detail in the next section. I note here that the common goal of a team of investigators is an epistemic one and that therefore the cooperative or joint action directed to that goal is a joint epistemic action. 11 Such action contrasts with what I will refer to (somewhat awkwardly) as behavioral actions, joint behavioral actions in particular. Two men jointly killing their victim by overpowering and then stabbing him constitutes joint behavioral action; a team of detectives coming to know who the two killers are on the basis of blood samples, and so on constitutes joint epistemic action. For convenience, I will sometimes refer to joint action that is not joint epistemic action as joint behavioral action-thereby signal- ing the presence of bodily behavior- notwithstanding the fact that joint epi- stemic action and joint behavioral action (in this restricted sense) do not exhaust the types of joint action and also that joint epistemic action typically involves some form of observable behavior. 2. Collective Moral Responsibility I first need to distinguish some dif- ferent senses of responsibility and, to begin with, I will do so with respect to individual, as opposed to collect- ive, responsibility. In due course it will emerge that collective responsib- ility in the required sense is a construction out of individual respons- ibility and is based on the notion of joint action. 12 Sometimes, to say that someone is responsible for an action is to say that the person had a reason, or reasons, to perform some action, then formed an intention to perform that action (or not to perform it), and finally acted (or refrained from acting) on that intention, and did so on the basis of that reason or reasons. It should be noted that an important category of reasons for actions are ends, goals, or purposes; an agent’s reason for performing an action is often that the action realizes an agent’s goal. 13 Moreover, it is assumed that in the course of all this the agent brought about or caused the action, at least in the sense that the mental state or states that constituted his reason for performing the action was causally efficacious (in the right way) and that his resulting intention was causally efficacious (in the right way). I will call this sense of being responsible for an action “natural responsibility.” As I argued in the first section, a person can be responsible for his or her epistemic actions, including deciding to investigate some matter, making inferences from one belief to another, and making a judgment with respect to the truth of some matter. Criminal investigators deciding to investigate a particular person, making inferences on the basis of evidence, and making a judgment with respect to whether Seumas Miller someone committed a crime are all instances of such epistemic “action,” which terminates in beliefs and state- ments, including formal statements such as briefs of evidence and the like. On other occasions, the term “being responsible for an action” means that the person in question occupies a certain institutional role and that the occupant of that role is the person who has the institutionally determined duty to decide what is to be done in relation to certain matters- including what is to be investigated or what is in fact the case in relation to some requirement for knowledge. Moreover, the role occupant in ques- tion may also be institutionally requi- red to see to it that what ought to be done is, in fact, carried out-for example, see to it that the required knowledge in question is indeed acquired and, perhaps, communicated to others. Thus the members of a surveillance team might have the responsibility to identify the occupant of certain premises as being or not being the person suspected of being (say) a terrorist, to video-record anyone leaving these premises, and to com- municate information in a dear and precise manner to their control room; moreover, they might have these insti- tutional responsibilities irrespective of whether or not they carried them out, or even contemplated doing so. Clearly, these institutional responsibil- ities are ones in respect of what are essentially epistemic tasks. A third sense of “being respons- ible” for an action is a species of our second sense. If the matters in respect to which the occupant of an institu- tional role has an institutionally determined duty to decide what is to be done, include ordering other agents to perform, or not to perform, certain actions (including acquiring certain knowledge), then the occu- pant of the role is responsible for those actions performed by those other agents. We say of such a person that he is responsible for the actions of other persons by virtue of being the person in authority over them. The fourth sense of responsibility is, in fact, the sense we are principally concerned with here-namely, moral responsibility. Roughly speaking, an agent is held to be morally responsible for an action or omission-including an epistemic act or omission-if the agent was responsible for that action or omission in one of our first three senses of responsibility, and if that action is morally significant. An action or omission-including an epistemic act or omission-can be morally significant in a number of ways. The action or omission can be intrinsically morally wrong, as in the case of a rights violation. Or the action or omission might have moral significance by virtue of the end that it was performed to serve or the foreseen or reasonably foreseeable outcome that it actually had-for example, the imprisonment of an inno- cent person following on a poorly conducted investigation. Sometimes the specific outcome is not foreseeable, but that there could be some bad outcome is foreseeable. This is often the case when police (avoidably) exer- cise poor judgment-for example, when Sutcliffe was apprehended with a hammer in his pocket and only charged with “going equipped to steal,” although he was actually out stalking. In these cases the person who exercised poor judgment would typic- ally not be morally responsible for the outcome, especially given that the outcome was someone else’s morally culpable action, but the person might Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility still be held to be morally responsible for exercising poor judgment. Sometimes the act or omission is morally wrong intrinsically and also by virtue of its untoward conse- quences. For example, in 1977, Peter Sutcliffe’s wife provided a false alibi for him as the possible owner of a banknote left at one of the crime scenes. (Sutcliffe was one of hundreds interviewed regarding the banknote.) In doing so, she was at least morally responsible for telling a lie and caus- ing police to believe that Sutcliffe was not worthy of further investigation, and possibly also morally responsible for protecting a serious offender from being brought to justice and enabling Sutcliffe to commit further murders. We can now make the following preliminary claim concerning moral responsibility (note that here actions and omissions include epistemic acts and omissions): If an agent is responsible for an action or omission (or a foreseen or reasonably fore- seeable outcome of that action or omission) in the first, second, or third sense of being responsible, and the action, omission or outcome is morally significant, then-other things being equal- the agent is morally responsible for that action, omission, or outcome, and-again, other things being equal-merits moral praise or blame and (possibly) punishment or reward for it. Here the “other things being equal” clauses are intended to be cashed in terms of capacity for morally responsible action-for example, sup- pose the agent was a psychopath-or in terms of exculpatory conditions either by way of justification or excuse. Thus, other things might not be equal if, for example, the agent was coerced, or if there was some overriding moral justification for per- forming what would otherwise have been a morally wrong action. It should also be noted that in contrast to some accounts of moral responsib- ility I am distinguishing this notion from that of blameworthiness/praise- worthiness. Above, I distinguished four senses of responsibility, including moral responsibility. Let me now consider collective moral responsibility. 14 To do so, it is first necessary to elaborate the notion of joint action and in particular one of its species, joint epistemic action. Joint actions involve a number of agents performing inter- dependent actions in order to realize some common goal.’ 5 Examples of joint action are: two people dancing together, a number of tradesmen building a house, and a team of researchers conducting an attitudinal survey. This notion of a common goal or, as I shall refer to it, a collective end, is a construction out of the prior notion of an individual end. Roughly speaking, a collective end is an indi- vidual end more than one agent has, and which is such that, if it is rea- lized, it is realized by all, or most, of the actions of the agents involved; the individual action of any given agent is only part of the means by which the end is realized. The realization of the collective end is the bringing into existence of a state of affairs. Each agent has this state of affairs as an individual end. (It is also a state of affairs aimed at under more or less the same description by each agent.) So a collective end is a species of individual end. 6 Joint action is to be distinguished from individual action on the one hand, and from the “actions” of cor- porate bodies on the other. Thus, an individual walking down the road or shooting at a target are instances of individual action. A nation declaring Seumas Miller war or a government taking legal action against a public company are instances of corporate action. My con- cern in this paper is only with joint action and, in particular, with joint epistemic action. As noted above, epistemic action is action directed to an epistemic end, notably knowledge. Given our notion of joint action as action directed to a collective end, it follows that if the epistemic end in question is a collective end, then the action in question may well be joint epistemic action. Examples of such joint epistemic action are a team of scientists seeking a cure for cancer, or a team of detectives seeking to deter- mine the identity of the Yorkshire Ripper. The collective ends of joint epistemic actions are importantly dif- ferent from those involved in joint non-epistemic, behavioral action. In the case of the former, the content of the collective end-for example, the knowledge whether or not that p, – is necessarily unknown at the com- mencement of the joint epistemic action, for it is precisely this know- ledge the joint epistemic action is aiming to acquire. Armed with this notion of joint action and, in particular, joint epi- stemic action, let me now turn to collective responsibility. As is the case with individual responsibility, one can distinguish four senses of collective responsibility, including senses established in relation to epi- stemic actions and omissions. The first of these four senses is developed in relation to joint actions: Agents who perform a joint action are responsible for that action in the first sense of collective responsibility. Accordingly, to say that they are collectively responsible for the action is just to say that they performed the joint action. That is, they each had a collective end, each intentionally per- formed their contributory action, and each did so because each believed the other would perform his contributory action, and that therefore the collect- ive end would be realized. In the case of the above- mentioned members of the surveil- lance team, the joint action in question is an epistemic action; it is a joint action the point or purpose of which is knowledge-for example, know- ledge of the identity of those entering and leaving the premises in question. So the individual members of the surveillance team perform the joint (epistemic) action of surveilling these premises. It is important to note here that each agent is individually (natur- ally) responsible for performing his contributory action, and responsible by virtue of the facts (i) that he intentionally performed this action; and (ii) that the action was not inten- tionally performed by anyone else. So an investigator might do all that can be reasonably expected of him or her only to have some other contributor fail to discharge adequately his or her responsibilities. For example, an investigator might conduct a first-rate investigation and brief of evidence, only to have an incompetent forensic scientist undo the good work by destroying a key piece of physical evidence. Of course the other agents (or agent) believe that he is performing, or is going to perform, the contributory action in question. But mere possession of such a belief is not sufficient for the ascription of responsibility to the believer for performing the individual action in question. So what are the agents collectively (naturally) respons- ible for? The agents are collectively (naturally) responsible for the realiza- tion of the (collective) end that results Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility from their contributory actions. Con- sider two agents jointly killing some- one in a crowded setting, one by grabbing him and holding him fast, the other by shooting him in the head. Each is individually (naturally) responsible for his own action, and the two agents are collectively (naturally) responsible for bringing it about that the person is dead, given that the actions of both were necessary for this outcome. Again, if the occupants of an insti- tutional role (or roles) have an institu- tionally determined obligation to perform some joint action, then those individuals are collectively responsible for its performance, in our second sense of collective responsibility. Here there is a joint institutional obligation to realize the collective end of the joint action in question. In addition, there is a set of derived individual obligations; each of the participating individuals has an individual obligation to perform his or her contributory action. The derivation of these individual obliga- tions relies on the fact that if everyone performs his or her contributory action then it is probable that the collective end will be realized. There is a third sense of collective responsibility that might be thought to correspond to the third sense of individual responsibility. The third sense of individual responsibility concerns those in authority. Suppose the members of the relevant police authority collectively decide to exer- cise their institutionally determined (and, therefore, lawful, let us assume) right to introduce a counter-terrorism measure-for example, collecting the metadata of large numbers of Inter- net users from the relevant Internet providers. The members of the police authority are then collectively resp- onsible for this policy and, potentially, for the untoward conse- quences of its implementation- for example, infringements of the privacy rights of citizens, and the political furore following on media disclosure of the policy. 17 Several things need to be kept in mind in this context. First, the notion of responsibility in question is, at least in the first instance, institutional-as opposed to moral -responsibility. Sec- ond, the “decisions” of committees, as opposed to the individual decisions of the members of committees, need to be analyzed in terms of the notion of what I analyzed in detail elsewhere- namely, a joint institutional mechan- ism. 18 By the lights of that account the “decision” of the police authority can be analyzed as follows. At one level each member of the authority voted for or against the policy at the relevant meeting. Let us assume some voted in the affirmative and others in the neg- ative. But at another level each mem- ber of the authority agreed to abide by the outcome of the vote; each voted having as a collective end that the outcome with a majority of the votes in its favor would be realized. Accord- ingly, the members of the authority were jointly institutionally responsible for the policy change-that is, they were collectively institutionally res- ponsible for the change. What of the fourth sense of collect- ive responsibility, collective moral resp- onsibility? Collective moral responsi- bility is a species of joint responsibility. Accordingly, each agent is individually morally responsible, but conditionally on the others being individually mor- ally responsible. There is interdepend- ence in respect of moral responsibility. This account of collective moral res- ponsibility arises naturally out of the account of joint actions. It also parallels Seumas Miller the account given of individual moral responsibility. Thus, we can make our second preliminary claim about moral resp- onsibility, again bearing in mind that the joint actions in question include joint epistemic actions, such as that of the surveillance team: If agents are collectively responsible for a joint action or omission (or the realization of a foreseen or reasonably foreseeable outcome of that action or omission), in the first or second or third senses of collective respons- ibility, and if the joint action, omission, or outcome is morally significant, then-other things being equal-the agents are collec- tively morally responsible for that action, omission, or outcome, and-other things being equal-merit moral praise or blame, and (possibly) punishment or reward for bringing about the outcome. As is the case with the parallel account of individual moral respons- ibility, the crucial “other things being equal” clauses provide for the possib- ilities that the agents in question either lack the requisite moral capa- cities-and so cannot be held morally responsible-or are possessed of mo- ral capacities but in the circumstances in question have an excuse or justi- fication for their joint actions and omissions and for the outcomes of such actions and omissions. It should be pointed out that there can be cases in which the morally significant collective end of a joint action is realized even though one or more individuals fail to successfully perform their individual action, as well as cases in which the morally significant collective end of a joint action is not realized, even though one or more individuals successfully perform their individual action. In the former kind of case, assuming the individual (or minority) actually has the collective end (and presumably, therefore, did not intentionally fail to perform their contributory action), the individual shares in the collective moral responsibility for the realization of the end, notwithstanding their indi- vidual failure in relation to their con- tributory action. In the latter kind of case, again assuming the individual actually has the collective end, the individual shares in the collective moral responsibility for the failure to realize the end, notwithstanding their individual success in relation to their contributory action. 19 Major criminal investigations inv- olve joint epistemic actions and there- fore potentially collective moral responsibility at multiple levels, some of which might not be obvious. Con- sider the Yorkshire Ripper investiga- tion. As with many murder investiga- tions, it generated an immense volume of inforrmation. Indeed, Peter Sutcliffe was actually in the databank. However, the manual system was such that there was a delay in identifying Sutcliffe, resulting in further loss of life. (A computerized system was eventually used.) The lack of an appropriate com- puterized system was evidently due to omissions on the part of various differ- ent senior members of the police organ- ization in question over time. Arguably, therefore, there was collective moral responsibility over a period of time on the part of a succession of the relevant members of the police authority for the failure to install a computerized system, even if the failure to get early access to another organization’s system was a failure on the part of a single senior police officer. Here I note that collective respons- ibility for some state of affairs is often understood, at least implicitly, as if it necessarily attached to a joint action (or joint omission) considered as an event that took place at a particular time, as Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility opposed to a temporally extended series of events; that is, it is assumed that the individual actions constitutive of the joint action (or omission) were performed at the same time rather than as a succession or series of actions, each of which took place at a different temporal location in the series. This is not the case, as will become abun- dantly dear in the next section. But for the moment consider as an example a relay or (to take a more complex case) a major building project, such as the Great Wall of China that was built over hundreds of years. Likewise, a series of omissions which had untoward conse- quences might be such as to constitute a collective moral failure; if so, then it might be the case that the individuals involved were collectively morally responsible for these consequences. 20 3. Chains of Moral Responsibility In the first section of this paper I elaborated the epistemic responsibil- ity of criminal investigators, and in the second I proffered an account of the notion of collective moral responsibility. The notion of a chain of institutional and moral responsib- ility that I introduced in the opening paragraphs of this paper is my focus in this third and final section. In the above section on epistemic respons- ibility I focused on the moral respons- ibility of investigators with respect to, so to speak, the proximate end of determining factual guilt or inno- cence of a suspect. In this section on the chain of moral responsibility I am concerned with the moral responsib- ility investigators may have with respect to a further end of the crim- inal justice process-namely, that the factually guilty be found legally guilty (and the factually innocent not be found legally guilty). 21 Of course, it is only from the perspective of the larger institutional process that this end (of determining factual guilt or innocence of a sus- pect) is merely proximate. If, on the other hand, we focus more narrowly on the principal role of the investig- ator, then matters are somewhat different. For the principal, indeed defining, role of the investigator is, as I argued above, knowledge (pro- positional knowledge expressed in statements) and, in particular, know- ledge with respect to factual guilt (or innocence). Moreover, by the lights of an overarching normative theory of the criminal law and of criminal investigators, even this further col- lective end of criminal investigators (jointly aimed at with members of juries and others in the chain of institutional and moral responsibility) that the factually guilty be found legally guilty (and the factually inno- cent not be found legally guilty) serves in turn the larger purpose (let us assume) of the protection of justi- fiably enforceable moral rights not to be harmed and to receive assistance in relation to needs-based depri- vations. 22 In all this there is an institutional division of labor and segregation of roles that involves each type of institutional actor-investigator, pro- secutor, judge, jury-member, and so on-making a contribution to the fur- ther (collective) end of identifying and appropriately punishing the guilty and exonerating the innocent. Seumas Miller However, unlike many institutional arrangements, the criminal justice pro- cess is predicated on strict adherence on the part of institutional actors to the segregation of roles on pain of compromising this further end. I emphasize that this segregation of roles is consistent with all of these actors, each with their own different and segregated role, having a com- mon further aim; agents can have a common aim even though it is a requirement for each of them to make a different and separate con- tribution to that aim, not to perform the tasks assigned to the others, and to do all this in the service of that common aim. With respect to this segregation of roles, the relationship between the different categories of institutional actors (e.g., investigators, jury mem- bers) in the criminal justice process is unlike that which holds between a manager, a waiter, and a barman in a small pub. There is no reason why, for example, the manager and the waiter might not assist the barman in doing his job of pouring beers during a rush period or even stand in his place when he is called away. But there is good reason why the prosecutor should not also be the judge, or the investigator the jury; in an adversarial system, any such con- flation of roles would constitute a structural conflict of interest and, as such, would be likely to undermine the administration of justice. Institutional arrangements such as this in which there is a segregation of roles (and associated responsibilities) but, nevertheless, a common further end involve a chain of institutional and moral responsibility. In chains of institutional and moral responsibility all the participants aim (or should be aiming) at the further end in addition to undertaking their own roles (and, therefore, aiming at the end definitive of their own particular role). More- over, all the participants (at least in principle) share in the collective responsibility for achieving that fur- ther end (or for failing to do so). Let me examine again the example of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, who was ultimately convicted of 13 counts of murder (the victims being prostitutes working in Yorkshire in the U.K.). The detectives involved were (col- lectively in the sense of jointly) mor- ally responsible for gathering and analyzing the evidence that identified Peter Sutcliffe as the Yorkshire Rip- per; they acquired the required knowledge of Sutciffe’s factual guilt and, thereby, realized the collective end of their institutional role as detectives. On the other hand, mem- bers of the court and, in particular, the members of the jury were (collec- tively) morally responsible for find- ing Sutcliffe legally guilty and thereby realized the (collective) end of their institutional roles as jury members. So far so good, but what was the ultimate end that was realized by the detectives and the members of the jury (as well as the other actors involved in the institutional process, e.g., the judge)? Presumably, the end in question is for the factually guilty to be found legally guilty (and the factually inno- cent not to be found legally guilty) and this is an end (a collective end) that is realized by the detectives working jointly with the members of the jury (and the other relevant insti- tutional actors). It is not an end that the detectives could achieve on their own; they can only arrive at know- ledge of factual guilt. But it is equally not an end that the members of the Police Detectives, Criminal Investigations and Collective Moral Responsibility jury could realize on their own, for they rely on the knowledge provided by the detectives. 23 Notwithstanding the above- described mandatory segregation of roles (in the context of a chain of institutional and moral responsibil- ity), detectives have been known to try to pre-empt the outcome of the criminal justice process- for example, by fabricating evidence against sus- pects they believe to be guilty and deserving of severe punishment, rather than remaining within the confines of their designated role of evidence-gathering in the service of truth and being content to rely on prosecutors, judges, and juries to undertake their different (albeit ulti- mately interlocking) roles in relation to assessing the case against suspects, determining guilt, passing sentence, and so on. In so doing, they are, of course, compromising the integrity of the chain of institutional and moral responsibility, not by virtue of failing to pursue its ultimate collective end on the occasion in question, but rather by overreaching their institu- tional role and by violating a central institutional rule, both of which are in place to ensure that the ultimate collective end is in general realized. Notes 1 See Nicholson, Yorkshire Ripper. See also Miller and Gordon, “Crimes against the Person,” 127-32. 2 Here I am assuming, of course, that a crime has been committed, whereas there are investigations that might find no crime to have been committed, or ones under- taken to prevent a crime being committed, e.g., terrorist investigations. 3 Strictly speaking, as already mentioned, my view is that criminal investigators ought to aim at understanding: understanding in the sense of a structured set of mutually supporting “items” of knowledge that can be summarized as the what, who, when, where, how, and why of a crime. Moreover, I assume in this article that propositional knowledge is to be defined as (roughly speaking) true belief with a justification. The definition of knowledge is a matter of ongoing controversy in the philosophical literature. However, this definition (or, at least, sophisticated versions thereof) has been well supported historically and, in any case, suits my purposes here. See Lehrer, Theory of Knowledge and Moser, Knowledge and Evidence for overviews. See also Ichikawa and Steup, ‘Analysis of Knowledge.” For the need to communicate investigative knowledge in propositional statements, see Miller and Gordon, Investig- ative Ethics, Chapter 2. 4 See Stelfox, Criminal Investigation. 5 I take it that the investigator, in aiming at knowledge, is necessarily aiming at truth, but truth for which he or she has good and decisive evidence; otherwise the investig- ator might discover the truth without knowing that he or she has done so. 6 In many jurisdictions it is not up to the investigator to decide whether or not a suspect he has charged with a serious offence should go to trial, this being a matter for the prosecuting authority. 7 Sometimes for the sake of brevity I use the term “knowledge” to mean propositional knowledge, as opposed to knowledge in general. However, context should make this clear. 8 There are various complications here. For example, there are approximations to the truth. Moreover, philosophical theorizing on truth is long-standing, complex, and controversial. See, for example Pitcher, Truth. However, my claims here are familiar ones with widespread, if by no means universal, support. Seumas Miller 9 See, for example, Williams, “Deciding to Believe.” 10 See Walker, “Voluntariness of Judge- ment,” for a related defense of the sort of view I am here espousing. 11 I introduced the notion of joint epi- stemic action in Miller, “Collective Responsibility and Information and Com- munication Technology.” See also Miller, “Institutions and Information and Com- munication Technology.” 12 For a useful collection comprising diverse theories of collective moral respons- ibility, see French, Midwest Studies in Philosophy. 13 The goal or purpose in question is that of the agent, e.g., by virtue of being appro- priately rationally connected to the agent’s other goals and beliefs; the goal is not, for example, one implanted in the agent by another agent. So the agent’s actions are under his or her control. Moreover, the analysis of responsibility in this sense typ- ically excludes any particular motive for one’s end or goal in performing the action; one can be responsible in this sense and have a good, bad, or indifferent motive. It is even conceivable that one did not have any motive but rather just a capricious intention or end. 14 For detailed analyses of the notion of collective moral responsibility in play here, see Miller, “Collective Moral Responsibility” and “Moral Foundations of Social Institu- tions,” Chapter 4. 15 For detailed analyses of the notions of joint action in play here, see Miller, “Joint Action (a)”; Miller, “Intentions, Ends and Joint Action”; Miller, “Joint Action (b)”; Miller, “Joint Action: The Individual Strikes Back”; and Miller, “Social Action.” 16 There are, of course, a myriad of differ- ent possible cases here, including ones in which some of the actions of some of the participants are not known. See Miller, “Joint Action (a)”; Miller, “Intentions, Ends and Joint Action”; Miller, “Joint Action (b)”; Miller, “Joint Action: The Individual Strikes Back”; and Miller, “Moral Foundations of Social Institutions,” Chapter 2, for discus- sions of various different related cases of joint action. 17 There can, of course, be different degrees of individual responsibility within a group whose members are collectively responsib- ility, notably if some members have a greater degree of institutional authority than their fellows. 18 See Miller, “Joint Action (a)”; Miller, “Organizations, Agency, and Action”; and Miller, “Teleological Account of Institutions.” 19 It is consistent with these claims that if an individual (or minority) culpably failed to realize their individual end, yet knew that the collective end would nevertheless be realized, then that individual does not share in the collective moral responsibility of the successful outcome, since, for one thing, the individual did not in fact have the collective end. It is also consistent with the claims that if an individual (or minority) culpably failed to realize their individual end in the know- ledge that as a consequence of this culpable failure of theirs the collective end would not be realized, then the individual (i) does not have the collective end; and (ii) is individu- ally morally responsible for the collective failure to realize the collective end. So in this case there is no collective moral responsibility for the failure. 20 See Miller, “Collective Moral Responsib- ility”; and Miller, “Social Norms.” 21 Assuming that there are only two pos- sible verdicts, guilty and innocent, which is not the case in some jurisdictions, e.g., in Scotland. 22 See Miller and Blackler, “Theory of Poli- cing”; Miller, “Police”; Miller and Gordon, “Law, Morality, and Policing”; and Miller and Gordon, “Knowledge, Evidence, and Aims of Investigation.” 23 Chains of institutional and moral responsibility consist of a process in which the completion of one stage institutionally triggers the commencement of the next stage, e.g., arrest is followed either by the suspect being charged or released within a specified time frame. 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