You have a corrections officer who has worked in the county jail for 7 years. He has been described as a dedicated, competent employee, one who is well respected by colleagues and administrators alike. However, personal problems have arisen in his life. His wife is filing for divorce, and his daughter, contrary to his wishes, is involved with a man who has been arrested on several occasions for domestic violence. On this particular day, he reports for work tired and irritable after dealing with problems at home. One 18-year-old inmate quickly begins to get on his nerves. He never stops complaining, with most of his complaints directed at the officer. Finally, after telling the inmate to “shut up or else” several times, the officer lost control and slapped him hard across the face, leaving a mark and a small cut.
The confrontation was witnessed by other inmates. This is the first time that this has happened to the officer. His supervisor sends another officer to cover his post, and he reports to the superintendent’s office. He recounts the incident, concluding with “I did it; I hit him hard and deserve to be fired. Or would you let me resign? I am very sorry it happened this way.” During the initial investigation, the superintendent feels confident that the officer has violated several tenets outlined in the code of ethics for public safety personnel, and he forwards his disciplinary recommendation for your review.