Parole: Moral Dilemma in Criminal Justice Case Study


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Moral Dilemma in Criminal Justice

Case 1: The Parole Board

Critical dilemmas require critical decisions to minimize the risks that come with every cause of action. For this case, there is no guarantee that the release of prisoners on the federal process beyond the parole board control will serve its purpose without inflicting breaches in the security of the community. The alternative is therefore to take the less risky route of releasing the inmates by broadening the parole eligibility criteria.

As much as this is ethically wrong, it is a morally acceptable option. This is because prison overcrowding poses many risks health wise and it compromises the safety level in these facilities. For instance, many communicable diseases such as tuberculosis can spread uncontrollably in overcrowded populations. It also becomes impossible for the workforce available to keep law and order in such situations.

According to Pollock (2014), the purpose of prisons is to rehabilitate inmates to make them better people as they go back to the society. It is, therefore, essential to safeguard them from such incidences as well as respect their human rights (Bachman & Schutt, 2013). The moral question in this case Robert is faced with the moral question of the safety standards in the prison and at the same time he had to consider the probability of the inmates reoffending as evidenced by the assessment results.

The motivator to actors’ response is the fact that by releasing prisoners under the parole board control this department will have full control over them as opposed to the federal process. This is important because it only allows the release of low- and medium-level offenders to the community correction programs (Pollock, 2014). This ensures that these offenders re-enters the community in a well-regulated and managed procedure. Since it deals with inmates who are completing their term, the program acts as a last chance to the prisoners before incarceration.

The consequence of broadening the parole system will be the risk of releasing violent convicts who might disregard their agreement resulting to their return in prison and hence accelerate the overcrowding issue.  From the results of assessment, it is evident that the parole system does not provide the right punishment for the prisoners since it has been found out that the prisoners are likely to offend again if they are subjected to the parole system. As such it is the obligation of Robert to decide on the corrective measure of dealing with the issue at hand.

Subsequently, he is supposed to give the correct information to the governor who will execute the plan (Bachman & Schutt, 2013). The federal system is, however, riskier as the released inmates are difficult to monitor and can, therefore, lead to increased crime in the community. This will lead the probationers back to prison, and therefore the overcrowding problem will not have been solved (Pollock, 2014). On the other hand, all the prisoners cannot be held in the same prisoners since as the situation is the prisoners are already overcrowded. This could bring other problems in the picture most importantly the health and the safety standards in the prison.

Considering the risk assessment of both options, it is clear that none would help unravel the problem at hand efficiently. Robert should ask the governor to consider expansion of prison facilities to accommodate more inmates. This will be both ethically and morally considerate because it will ensure prisoners are taken care of without disregarding neither their security nor that of the community. This proves to be the only conceivable way of solving this problem because, the probation and parole officers would experience diverse caseloads with the large numbers of inmates, therefore, limiting their capacities of supervising them (Pollock, 2014).

It is considered the only undisputable way of protecting convicts from the numerous risks that they face in overcrowded prisons without comprising on public safety. Proper prison conditions will also ensure that the lawbreakers will come out as helpful people due to the various correction programs offered to them. Overcrowding will only make the wardens anticipate releasing them without considering whether they have reformed or not so long as they have served their jail term.

Case 2: The Warden

In this case, William is facing a dilemma on whether to compromise on the inmates’ expenditure by cutting the health and food expenses to afford over time officers as well as replacement pay employees. This will, in turn, assist in eradicating the looming danger of understaffing which could lead to several other problems. By cutting on the food and medical budget, he will be able to pay the officers’ overtime as well as increase workforce to control the increasing population in the prisons (Bachman & Schutt, 2013).

It will also motivate the personnel, and they will enhance security and normality in the facility. As much as this may seem like the best alternative Robert has to think critically because denying the prisoners their rights to food and medical care is immoral and will result in severe consequences which might be fatal (Pollock, 2014). The motivational factor for this option is the need to maintain the workforce meant to prevent the triggers that can cause the employees to quit or fail to report on duty as required.

 In my opinion, this is the best pronouncement that warden could implement to handle the ethical dilemma. Although this alternative will achieve the goal of maintaining the employees it will compromise on the safety of the prisoners. More so it might result in deaths of the lawbreakers emanating from the tremendous infections that are present in those facilities and are aggravated by the increasing populations.

The prisoners might also become rebellious, and this can trigger them to go on strike or even attack the prison wardens worsening the situation. Also, depriving the inmates of their medical rights will lead to increased epidemics that may further cost the facility a lot of money on treatment (Cole, Smith & DeJong, 2015). On the other hand, by not taking this option, the workers feel insecure and unappreciated, and this will prompt them to quit their jobs or fail to undertake their responsibilities.

They will also be overworked, and this will reduce their effectiveness when performing their duties. These workers will also become reluctant; this will compromise the safety of the facility and with the increasing population, it will be difficult for the limited workers to manage and control the inmates.

William should consider utilizing other amenities such as community supervision programs to decongest the prisons. These programs will take care of the prisoners who are completing their jail terms as well as those with minor offenses (Pollock, 2014). Prisoners with drug abuse and mental health problems should be taken to other rehabilitation centers that fit their needs best. This is because staying will only alleviate their conditions because drugs are also present in prison with inadequate labor it is impossible to keep track of such occurrences (Pollock, 2014).

Community supervision will incorporate prisoners in more useful activities including counseling, life skills training and educational based programs. This will not only help in the reforming of these lawbreakers but will also equip them with the much-needed self-development capabilities. Specialized courts should also be utilized to ensure the inmates placed under parole are complying with the community correction programs (Pollock, 2014).

The ethical basis for this decision is to ensure everybody in this situation is suited by the final decision that is made. The decision should entail the well-being of the prisoners and at the same time ensure that the prison is appropriately staffed. By utilization of other facilities, the overcrowding problem will be solved without compromising on the safety of the workers or cutting the food and health budget for the inmates. This will ensure that the personnel will feel secure in their working environments and will, therefore, be able to manage the remaining number of inmates.

It is, therefore, the duty of the warden to ensure that proper measures are established and implemented. Regarding drug and alcohol dependency, addicts recover better and faster when placed under specialized programs as opposed to incarceration. Therefore the warden should make plans to ensure that other institutions are engaged in taking care of the high inflow of the criminal offenders. It is therefore in the interest of all individuals to ensure that community supervision strategies are specifically used to ensure that all the lawbreakers are punished properly.

Therefore in the meeting it will be appropriate that William responds in respect to alternative strategies of handling the increased rate of prisoner’s inflow. Designation of some of the prisoners particularly the petty offenders to community based work release is one of the most effective strategies that would ensure that the facilities are not overcrowded. On the other hand, the problem of understaffing will be automatically addressed if overcrowding is addressed (Pollock, 2014). This is because it will be easier to cut down the costs in the prison when it is not overcrowded.

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Case 3: The District Attorney

The moral question that faces Martha is the question of being supportive of the governor or stand with her campaign platform of plea bargaining and reduced sentences for convicts. It would seem morally right to make good of her words during her campaign, but this option will compromise the security in the community as well as her relationship with the mayor (Maxfield & Babbie, 2014).

This brings about the dilemma since the district understands that the criminal records suggest that majority of the arrests are from the drug culture.  It would be, therefore, unethical since a district attorney should be more concerned about the people’s security rather keeping her word to the convicts. However, she will appear like a traitor, and this is not a good picture to her future campaigns. Martha should be critical in her decision making for her to make the most out of this dilemma.

Martha is motivated by the fact that she will need the mayor and the community in her future campaigns for it to be a success. By deciding to support the mayor she will be assured of a smooth relationship between her and the police chief which will play a major role in the success of her campaigns. She will also secure support from the mayor and other stakeholders in law keeping during her future campaigns (Pollock, 2014). Apart from that, it is seemingly morally wrong to go easy on gun-toting drug merchants by reducing their sentences or plea-bargaining.  

This is because such an action will be seen as collaboration with the wrongdoers which will imply that the district attorney is collaborating with the wrongdoers which can be likened to blackmail (Cole, Smith & DeJong, 2015). However, by going back in her words, she might as well forget future support from the community as this will portray her as a betrayer. She will, therefore, reduce her chances of remaining attorney general if the community loses faith in her. Also, it is morally wrong to deny the prisoners a fair trial by supporting the governor to exercise aggressive arrest of the drug felons (Braswell, McCarthy & McCarthy, 2014).

According to the analysis of both options, Martha should ensure that the arrestees face the law and are responsible for their offenses. This should, however, be done in that makes them face a fair trial and a sentence that matches the crimes committed by each (Cullen, & Chouhy, 2016). She should ask her staff to convict the lawbreakers each according to his/her crimes and not by treating and judging them as a group.

She should also ask the mayor and the chief police to introduce new sentences for the drug dealers especially those who do not involve murder or other serious crimes (Banks, 2016). These sentences can incorporate life training skills that will help the prisoners with alternative means of livelihood. This will reduce the art of drug hawking without necessarily being tough on the convicts. Subsequently, if she considers the morally right course of action, then it is most likely that she will get the support that she aspires to get.

            This option also ensures that the convicts will be equipped differently as they go back to the community. Otherwise convicting the drug felons harshly will only result in bitter inmates who will be back to drug dealing as soon as they finish their jail terms. Also, by grouping the arrestees according to the level of their crimes, it will help the prosecutors determine the best sentence for each of them (Pollock, 2014).

This will result in long term cleaning of the streets in one way instead of convict and release style. The community’s security and the inmate’s interests will be met without compromising Martha’s ethical and moral responsibilities. It will, therefore, be a win-win situation for both her and the mayor (Pollock, 2014). This will ensure that she will have future support from the mayor, the police, and the entire community.

Case 4: The Officer

The moral and ethical aspect, in this case, is that Linda cannot decide on whether first to arrest the suspect or honor the dispatchers call and act as back up. It is immoral for her to let the suspect go despite the fact she has the evidence that the suspect is a drug dealer (Cole, Smith & DeJong, 2015). Although there have been several complaints regarding the fact that the police in the area have been engaging in making minor arrests, the officer happens to encounter such a case.

Coincidentally the officer happens to be in the middle of making an arrest regarding drugs when she receives the call to attend to a burglary in progress. However, it is also her responsibility to assist officers in patrol especially in times of emergency such as this one (Banks, 2016). Linda should, therefore, be critical to the most prudent decision for this dilemma. She should make a move that will benefit the interests of the community’s security as well as the nature of her job.

The fact that Linda might lose her job for handling a ‘petty drug case’ instead of serving as backup for the progressing burglary is the motivator for her course of decision. The easier route is letting loose the suspect and declare herself available for the backup (Albanese, 2015). By so doing she will secure her job and avoid the griping that comes with her colleagues about her not being available for this call of duty (Banks, 2016).

She will also save time and spare the already clogged up system. After all, it is also impossible for her to arrest the suspect without the help of the contraband. As much this seems like the right thing to do, it is unethical for Linda to leave a drug dealer suspect for whom she has evidence. This will compromise on the community’s security because drug dealing comes with many other crimes (Bazemore & Boba, 2007).

It will also encourage other culprits resulting to drug-dealer laden streets, which might be uncontrollable or cost the law keepers a lot of money to control. Letting the suspect go would also indicate that such a crime is not as important and therefore would encourage other drug peddlers (Bazemore & Boba, 2007).

Putting all these factors into considerations, Linda should truthfully tell the dispatcher that she is unavailable. Being a backup for the progressing burglary is essential but arresting and charging the suspect is equally important (Banks, 2016). She should also ask for a backup to help her arrest this suspect instead of risking her life trying to arrest this man alone.  Disregarding the fact that there have been complaints regarding the situation at hand attending to it would be the appropriate course of action rather than setting free a probable convict (Albanese, 2015).

As much this will put her at risk, it is the moral and ethical thing to do. Since she has evidence that the suspect is indeed a drug dealer, it will not take her long to convict this suspect. This will therefore not be one of those cases that clog up the system. Furthermore, the evidence that she already has at hand could be used to build a case for the suspect, and the only remaining step would be to take him to the station. This is because the only thing she needs is to identify the suspect to be able to charge him.  

It would be advisable that other officers especially those who are off duty should be utilized in such a case to act as the backup. She should also let her sergeant see the dangers posed by such drug dealers especially if they are left uncontrolled (Braswell, McCarthy, & McCarthy, 2014). This cause of action might result in Linda losing her job, but it is important to protect the people and save the law keepers time and money in the future instead of staying employed and only serving out of obligation.


Albanese, J. S. (2015). Professional ethics in criminal justice: Being ethical when no one is Looking. Pearson.

Bachman, R., & Schutt, R. K. (2013). The practice of research in criminology and criminal justice. Sage.

Banks, C. (2016). Criminal justice ethics: Theory and practice. Sage Publications.

Bazemore, G., & Boba, R. (2007). “Doing Good” to “Make Good”: Community Theory for Practice in a Restorative Justice Civic Engagement Reentry Model. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 46(1-2), 25-56.

Braswell, M. C., McCarthy, B. R., & McCarthy, B. J. (2014). Justice, crime, and ethics. Routledge.

Braswell, M. C., McCarthy, B. R., & McCarthy, B. J. (2014). Justice, crime, and ethics. Routledge.

Castellano, U. (2007). Becoming a nonexpert and other strategies for managing fieldwork Dilemmas in the criminal justice system. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 36(6), 704-730.

Cole, G. F., Smith, C. E., & DeJong, C. (2015). The American system of criminal justice. Nelson Education.

Cullen, F. T., & Chouhy, C. (2016). The role of theory, ideology, and ethics in criminal justice policy. Advancing Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy, 40.

Finkel, N. J., Harre, R., & Lopez, J. L. R. (2001). Commonsense morality across cultures: Notions of fairness, justice, honor and equity. Discourse Studies, 3(1), 5-27.

Maxfield, M. G., & Babbie, E. R. (2014). Research methods for criminal justice and criminology. Nelson Education.

Pollock, J. M. (2014). Ethical dilemmas and decisions in criminal justice. Nelson Education.

Williams, C. R., & Arrigo, B. A. (2011). Ethics, crime, and criminal justice. Pearson Higher Ed.

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Rentall Trucks Case Study

Rentall trucks
Rentall Trucks

Rentall Trucks Case Study


This paper will provide an analysis of the case study of Rentall Trucks using Markov Analysis. The problem statement of the case is about legal issues that surrounded the operation of two main competitors in the truck renting industry Rentall and Rentran. The scope of a problem is the extent of perception, action or inquiry of a concept. In our case study, the scope is an omission in the contracts leading to the sale of Rentall Trucks that could cost the firm millions of dollars according to Jim Fox.  (Render, Stair, R. Hanna, & Hale 2015). The critical decision issues to be addressed by Rentall Trucks include how to increase the competitive edge and maintain a large market share in the industry.


One of the critical elements of the Rentall Trucks case is the fact that during its sale, the contracted law firm omitted a clause that would prove costly in the long-run. Folley, Smith and Christensen failed to include a clause that would prevent Bob Renton from competing directly with the firm. This led to the creation of Rentran. The case provides another critical element in which Rentall faces stiff competition from Rentran, despite the fact that it is only a few months into its operations.

In six months, Bob has succeeded in convincing and poaching a number of key executives from Rentall into his company, Rentran. The firm managed to acquire a market share of approximately 5% in the first few months of its operation while Rentall had 80% and National rentals, another competitor, had 15% (Render, Stair, R. Hanna, & Hale 2015). The Market share determines the portion of a market controlled by a particular firm (Rego, Morgan, & Fornell, 2013).

It is the percentage of total sales in a given market earned by a company (Gale, 2014). Pete Rosen, the president of Rentall Trucks, got concerned about the situation and decided to conduct research to determine future projections of the firm and the market. His concerns were that his firm would be incapable of maintaining 50% of the market in the future.

The case has provided a clear set of facts on the current scenario facing the firms. These facts were established after a research company hired by Pete Rosen conducted an analysis on truck rental customers. The sample size was 1000 potential and existing customers. Of these, 800 were Rentall customers, while 60 and 140 were Rentran and National customers respectively. After one month, the sample was analyzed again.

It was found that 200 Rentall customers switched to Rentran, 80 switched to National, 3 Rentran customers switched to rental, six switched to National, and finally, 14 National customers switched to Rentall and 35 to Rentran (Render, Stair, R. Hanna, & Hale 2015). An in-depth review of the essential issues is offered by these facts.


In addressing the main points outlined in the case, various recommendations are needed to solve the problem statement. According to Jim Fox, Rentall Trucks could do nothing to correct the problem of the costly contract omission by the law firm Folley, Smith, and Christensen. The only applicable solution would be to formulate and implement effective business strategies.

These strategies would provide a framework through which counter measures would be adopted to prevent Rentran’s activities and market advancements. The policies adopted would be to curb Rentran’s ability to lure away both customers and investors from Rentall. Three areas would require to be reviewed and appropriate changes made. These areas are advertising, rental policy, and product line.

The issue of rental policies would require that truck rental business is made easier and faster. This would necessitate the implementation of some of the policies used by car rental agencies like Hertz. To attract more customers, changes in the product line would have to include comfortable and easy to drive trucks, trucks fitted with automatic transmission, air conditioners, quality radio and stereo tape systems, comfortable bucket seats and cruise control (Render, Stair, Hanna, & Hale 2015). Zenetti and Klapper (2016), state that advertising promotes sales by influencing the behavior of potential customers.

This showed that additional advertising was required to be aggressive and immediate. A good company had to be contracted and advertising in journals and the television increased. Implementation of these strategies would give Rentall Trucks a chance of maintaining their close to 80% market share. Changes in the advertising strategy would ensure that a bigger target audience is reached and their market behavior influenced to opt for Rentall Truck products and services. This would increase the number of new customers. On the other hand, changes in the product line and rental policies would help maintain a loyal customer base for the firm.


The recommended course of action is justifiable since policy makers and scholars alike agree to the effectiveness of the stated strategies. The above recommendations have been applied elsewhere and hence, are tried and tested. The justification for the recommendations is that:

1.)    Advertising is a proven strategy to help convince more customers to trust the products and services being offered by a company as explained by Buil, Chernatony, & Martínez, (2013). Rentall Trucks is justified in increasing advertising, especially in television and journals.

2.)    Changing a product line constitutes to rebranding. The strategy of rebranding helps a company in that it proves to doubtful customers that the brand has reinvented itself andwill, therefore, be in a position to satisfy their tastes and preferences more that before (Todor, 2014). To Rentall Trucks, changes in the product line will ensure that those customers who had switched to their rivals are more convinced about its service and product quality and will be motivated to switch back. 

3.)    Reviewing of rental policies will revolutionize the whole industry. This is due to the fact that if Rentall are successful in simplifying the processes involved in renting trucks, they will set a standard to be followed by all competitors. Setting standards will make them stand out as market leaders and will therefore have that largest market share.


This case study provided a case scenario of Rentall Truck Company seeking to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors, Rentran and National. The companies were competing for the market share in the truck renting industry. Rentall faced stiff competition from Rentran, a company owned by its former founder. They found themselves in this situation due to a blunder of omission of an important clause in its contacts. To retain its customers, Rentall recommended changes in its advertising strategies, product line and rental policies. The strategies were justifiable through since they were tried and tested. The justification was further improved by the market research conducted by Meyers Marketing Research firm.


1. What will the market shares be in one month if these changes are made? If no changes are made

Rentall – π1 = 0.8

Rentran – π2 = 0.06

National Rentals – π1 = 0.14

Tree diagram (Month 1 with no change)

0.65                 0.25                 0.1

P =       0.05                 0.85                 0.1

0.65                 0.25                 0.1

π (1) = π (0)P

0.65                 0.25                 0.1

= (0.8, 0.06, 0.14)       0.05                 0.85                 0.1

0.65                 0.25                 0.1

= 0.52+0.003+0.091, 0.2+0.051+0.035, 0.08+0.006+0.014

= 0.6, 0.29, 0.1

= 60% 29% 10%

Market share without the changes will be:

60% for Rentall

29% for Rentran

10% for National Rentals

Tree diagram (Month 1 with change)

0.85                 0.125               0.025

P =       0.15                 0.75                 0.1

0.2                   0.25                 0.55

π (1) = π (0)P

0.85                 0.125               0.025

= (0.8, 0.06, 0.14)       0.15                 0.75                 0.1

0.2                   0.25                 0.55

= 0.68+0.009+0.028, 0.1+0.045+0.035, 0.02+0.014+0.077

0.72, 0.18, 0.1

72%. 18%, 10%

Market share without the changes will be:

72% for Rentall

18% for Rentran

10% for National Rentals

This shows that Rentall will have a larger market share if the actions suggested are implemented. Rentall’s market share will remain high while Rentran will grow at a slower rate. National Rental’s market share remains the same.

2. What will the market share be in three months with the changes?

π (n) = π (0)Pn

π (3) = π (0)P3

                                     0.61                0.002               0.00002           3

(0.8, 0.06, 0.14)           0.003               0.42                 0.001

                                    0.008               0.27                 0.17

            = 0.6, 0.3, 0.1

Market share after 3 months will be:

60% for Rentall

30% for Rentran

10% for National Rentals

3. If market share remains the same, what market share will Rentall have in the long-run?Ho does this compare to if the changes were not made.

            If the market conditions remain the same, the market share for Rentall in the long-run would keep reducing, though at a lower magnitude than if Rentall did not make the changes. The new market shares are shown in the tables below. The market share moves from 80% to 72% in month 1 to 66 % in month 2, 61% in month 3, 58% in month 4 and 56% in month 5.

If the changes were not made, Rentall’s market share would have deteriorated quite fact, moving from 80% to 61% in month 1, 48% in month 2, 40% in month 3, 35% in month 4 and 32% in month 5. This would be a significant loss to Rentran, which would have 58% of the market by the fifth month. Therefore, it can be concluded that the changes will reduce the rate at which the company loses its market share to Rentran. However, Rentall still continues to lose its market share and better strategies are required to enhance competitiveness.                                                  

After Change (Excel calculation)
ProbabilitiesCurrent Market share
  Market share
Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5
Before Change (Excel calculation)
ProbabilitiesCurrent Market share
  Market share
Month 1Month 2Month 3Month 4Month 5


Buil, I., De Chernatony, L., & Martínez, E. (2013). Examining the role of advertising and sales     promotions in brand equity creation. Journal of Business Research, 66(1), 115-122.

Gale, . (2014). Market share reporter. Place of publication not identified: Gale, Cengage Learning.

Rego, L. L., Morgan, N. A., & Fornell, C. (2013). Reexamining the market share–customer satisfaction relationship. Journal of Marketing, 77(5), 1-20.

Render, B., Stair, R. M., Hanna, M. E. & Hale T. S. (2015). Quantitative analysis for management. (12thed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Todor, R. D. (2014). The importance of branding and rebranding for strategic marketing. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences. Series V, 7(2), 59.

Zenetti, G., & Klapper, D. (2016). Advertising Effects Under Consumer Heterogeneity–The Moderating Role of Brand Experience, Advertising Recall and Attitude. Journal of Retailing, 92(3), 352-372.

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