Ethics in Community Corrections

Ethics in Community Corrections 

Ethical behavior and decision-making in community corrections has an impact on public safety, personal and professional reputations, and the perception of community corrections as a respected profession. This course will discuss why it is important for community supervision officers to be ethical in their decision-making and actions and provide strategies officers can use to maintain ethical boundaries. It will also discuss ethical issues related to the use of technology, specifically social media, for investigative and surveillance purposes. Finally, it will provide an overview of documents that most agencies have in place to help guide officers in making ethical decisions in their official capacity. The content in this course is applicable to probation and parole officers working in adult community corrections agencies.


Hours: 2.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PSC-0-ECC
Hours: 2.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2026
Learning Objectives:
Recognize 9 common types of unethical behavior in community corrections.
Identify more than 45 strategies for maintaining ethical boundaries.
Describe 15 tips correctional officers should keep in mind when using technology personally and professionally.
Explain how an agency's mission statement, code of ethical conduct, and values/value statements can outline expectations for ethical decisions in the workplace.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Ethical Behavior and Professional Conduct


Parole Officer Dycus


Effects of Unethical Behavior

Not Just Those on Supervision

Common Types of Unethical Behavior

Commission and Omission



Section 3: Strategies for Maintaining Ethical Boundaries

Elements of Ethics

Taking the High Ground: Matters of Integrity

Doing No Harm: Matters of No Maleficence

According Dignity: Matters of Respect

Benefiting Others: Matters of Beneficence

Quick Check

Exercising Caution: Matters of Prudence

Caring for Others: Matters of Compassion

Seeking Fairness: Matters of Justice

Promoting Autonomy: Matters of Self-Reliance

Being Faithful: Matters of Fidelity

Delivering Your Best: Matters of Excellence



Section 4: Ethical Use of Technology

Use of Technology in Community Supervision

Limiting Use and Monitoring Social Media: Is it Illegal or Unethical?

Tips for the Ethical Use of Technology in a Professional Capacity

Tips for the Ethical Use of Technology in Your Personal Capacity



Section 5: Guidance Down the Ethical Path

Ask Yourself

Mission Statement

Code of Ethical Conduct

Values/Value Statements

How Staff Benefit



Section 6: Conclusion


Course Contributors



Instructor: Truls Neal
Truls Neal has served as the Director and the Deputy Director of Multnomah County Department of Community Justice (DCJ) for the past two years. Truls has worked as a Corrections Professional for more than 30 years. He has worked in various capacities in the criminal justice field including as a corrections counselor, juvenile counselor, parole and probation officer including fourteen years in community corrections management. 

He began his career in 1983 with Orange County Juvenile Probation in California. In 1992, Truls moved to Oregon and worked for 16 years for Clackamas County Community Corrections, serving as a Corrections Counselor, Community Service Coordinator, Parole and Probation Officer, Supervisor and finally as the Manager of the Parole and Probation Field Services. 

Ten years ago, Truls was hired by Multnomah County. As a Senior Manager, he was instrumental in developing and implementing the Reentry Enhancement Coordination Program (REC), a successful prison reentry program currently still in existence today. Prior to being assigned Deputy Director Truls served as the Adult Division Director for DCJ.  Additionally, he currently serves on the board for the American Probation and Parole Association. Locally, Truls has served as an executive member of the Multnomah County Managers of Color.  

Truls holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino. In addition to his professional career, he is active in NE Portland and is involved with his community in his local neighborhood association and other community-based organizations. Truls life mission is to build community at work, home, and in his neighborhood. Disclosure: Truls Neal has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, M.S.
Mrs. Cobb is a Content Writer for Public Safety and Health and Human Services at Relias. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Mrs. Cobb has 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. She has worked in direct service positions as well as in research, training, and technical assistance capacities. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky managing federal, state, and foundation grants awarded to the College of Medicine, Behavioral Science department, Center for Drug and Alcohol Research, and Kentucky Rural Medical Centers.


Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, M.S. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.