The problem of ex-felons’ disenfranchisement has strong ethical implications and, thus, represents an object for a thorough analysis within the framework of the code of ethics. One should note that whereas there is no legal basis for the deprival of ex-felons of voting rights, the cases of such discrimination still take place in the modern society.
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Among the most wide-spread reasons the society applies to the explanation of disenfranchisement, one might point out the fear of the voter fraud increase and the risk of the negative law changes (Ex-Felon Voting Rights in Florida, 2008).
The mentioned assumptions contradict with the basic ethic principle of justice identified by Kitchener, which suggests that an individual can be treated unequally on condition that there is “a rationale that explains the necessity and appropriateness” of such treatment (Forester-Miller & Davis, n.d.).
As far as the essential rationale is apparently absent, one can claim that ex-felons’ deprival of voting rights is highly unethical. Thus, the relevant cases are to be seen to by human social professionals who declare social justice’s advocating to be one of their primary concerns (Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals, 2015).
According to the Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making, once the problem is identified, one should necessarily address the ACA Code of Ethics to study the relevant case’s solution (Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals, 2015). It would be reasonable to presuppose that a human social professional will regard the problem of ex-felons’ disenfranchisement as the group work case as it is likely to affect an entire society of a particular state or region.
In accordance with the following code, a social professional will have to collect all the information on the character of discrimination in order to be able to assess the issue properly. It is highly important that the roots of the problem are carefully analyzed. Many specialists claim that the neglect of the details or their underestimation might have a negative impact on the social change implementation (Dirkx, Gilley, & Gilley, 2004).
One might even presume that the problem of voting deprival might be considered as a conflict between “ethics and law” – in this case, human social professionals will be recommended to cooperate with the local ethic committee rather than act on their own.
It is also necessary to add, that according to the ACA Code of Ethics, the relevant professionals should, by no means, apply their personal attitude to the ex-felons’ disenfranchisement to their work. Thus, their clients are to receive a guarantee to be treated equally and justly regardless of any subjective opinions (ACA Code of Ethics, 2014).
As long as the solution of the following problem is apt to imply the collaboration with the local government, the ethic committee might employ the so-called “social action method”. Thus, according to Homan (2015), the specialists who choose this approach will focus on “the disadvantaged segment of the population” and will try to implement transformations in local institutions (p.59).
Whether it will be a group of specialists or a single professional, they will still have to work out an effective course of action to resolve the following problem. The Practitioner’s Guide suggests that before being finally accepted, one’s plan undergoes three different tests to prove its validity: justice, publicity and universality (Forester-Miller, & Davis, n.d.).
Whatever the worked out solution might look like, the human social professional will need to do the best to implement the necessary changes in the social environment and to “promote respect for human dignity and diversity” as it is indicated in the relevant ethical code (ACA Code of Ethics, 2014).
ACA Code of Ethics. (2014). Web.
Dirkx, J.M., Gilley, J.W., & Gilley, A.M. (2004). Change theory in CPE and HRD: Toward a holistic view of learning and change in work. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 6(1), 35-51.
Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals. (2015). Web.
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Ex-Felon Voting Rights in Florida. (2008). Web.
Forester-Miller, H., & Davis, T. (n.d.). A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making. Web.
Homan, M.S. (2015). Promoting Community Change: Making It Happen in the Real World. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.