Deciding on a major or program of study is an important step in a student’s life. There are many factors that can contribute to an individual’s choice, including personal interest, career paths, and the projected job market. Studying criminal justice attracts many students for various reasons each year.
What students might not initially consider when determining their major is how their program of study can help to benefit their community along with residents in that community. Criminal justice has a considerable effect on each community, and individuals who decide to pursue a career in this path are the ones who ensure the safety, justice, and peace.
Students considering studying courses related to criminal justice who are hoping to make a career out of it should find out how this decision can affect our communities—whether here in South Florida, or across the United States. Florida National University (FNU) offers the following understanding how criminal justice careers affect our communities:
Enhancing Public Safety
The safety of the general public heavily relies on the influence of criminal justice professionals in various careers. In fact, those who choose to study criminal justice have a variety of career options upon graduating from their chosen program. For example, many individuals with this degree choose to enlist in a branch of military service, to enter the workforce as a police officer, or to continue their studies and begin work as a lawyer.
While is it not typical for most city, county, and statewide police branches to require their officers to study criminal justice, many highly advocate for this. The background knowledge and education achieved while studying in a criminal justice program enhances a former student’s ability to understand crimes, criminals, victims, and crime scenes at a deeper level. Therefore, this allows them to gather and understand information related to each case while following the proper precautions required on a case-to-case basis.
This training and education is helpful. These particular officers have the opportunity to obtain a better grasp on the likelihood of crimes that occur in certain areas and locations, at various times of the day, and around a number of times throughout the year.
These officers are prepared not only through the required training learned via a police academy, but also through their education received during their two or four-year studies. This offers the officer a background in the field and a head start on the necessary knowledge to successfully pursue his or her career.
A police officer’s job is to protect the public and to help lower the frequency of crimes in their particular patrol area. By studying criminal justice, these officers and security guards will have a deeply rooted understanding of protocol to enhance public safety while properly completing their daily duties.
These officers are not only able to better protect the public, but they also have a greater hand in staying protected themselves, and in helping to convict guilty criminals for their actions in a court of law.
The Right to a Fair Trial
When an individual decides to study criminal justice, there are several potential directions to take their career, as previously detailed. One of these directions is law. Whether one continues their education and moves on to law school or if they are simply a police officer bearing witness on a trial, criminal justice majors have a high chance of finding themselves in the courtroom.
Some of the best aspects of the American court system are the undeniable Constitutional rights offered to each citizen, along with the ever-evolving technological advancements. This pair enables both criminals and those who are innocent of a suspected crime the right to a fair trial. The United States justice system serves as a means of just that: justice. This means that an individual might face certain consequences for their actions based on their conviction via jail time, volunteer service, or a fine.
Students who opt to study criminal justice gain a deeper understanding of the court system, therefore enhancing the system’s ability to rightfully convict felonies, violations, and misdemeanors, along with other various crimes.
Understanding Why Crimes Occur
Studying criminal justice does not only serve to convict criminals—it also enables communities to understand why crimes are committed. With this knowledge comes the understanding of the likelihood of various crimes occurring again. It enables an analysis of the types of individuals (race, gender, background, mental health, etc.) who cause certain crimes, therefore offering a look at the means to help prevent similar crimes from taking place in the future.
Criminal and Forensic Psychologists can determine this type of evidence and analysis when studying crimes that have occurred. They have the ability to analyze crime scenes, past crimes, and criminals in order to enhance the safety of current and future generations.
Florida National University—Driving Students to Better Serve Their Communities
Students, now that you know how studying criminal justice can help positively benefit our communities and enhance safety, it’s time to make a difference. Take that step and enroll in FNU’s criminal justice programs today! Considering a different subject? Review our list of programs and apply to FNU now!