Are you interested in criminal justice? Do you want to support your community, shape crime policy, and be involved in applying justice? If so, a criminal justice job may be the right fit for you. However, education is the key to preparing for a job and a career in criminal justice, and Florida National University offers Bachelor’s and Associate degrees in Criminal Justice. So, what is criminal justice?
What is Criminal Justice?
It encompasses the justice system and the professionals who work in it. Professionals in criminal justice perform various roles in law enforcement, advocating for judicial and legal procedures, monitoring corrections, and contributing to policy reforms. These individuals also conduct data analysis and research. The following components make up the criminal justice field:
Law enforcement agencies investigate crime and make arrests. They focus on maintaining social order, reducing crime, and offering public safety.
The Court System
Courts are where criminals and civil offenders undergo trials. These professionals in the court include prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges. Other professionals who work in the court system include bailiffs and court reporters.
This system of prisons, probation, and parole manages criminal offenders after conviction. Corrections focus on incapacitating, rehabilitating, deferring, and retributing the offenders.
The three parts of the criminal justice system work sequentially. Law enforcement investigates the crime and makes the arrest. The court system tries the suspected criminal, and the corrections system punishes and rehabilitates those convicted.
What are Some of the Jobs Available to Criminal Justice Graduates?
Many jobs are available for those completing a criminal justice associate or bachelor’s degree program. The more common jobs include:
Bailiff – ensure the courtroom’s security, enforce courtroom rules, escort jurors, witnesses, and suspects into and out of the courtroom, and pass evidence from lawyers to the judge.
Corporate Investigator – conducts background checks and investigates potential law or company policy violations. Such violations can include incidents like embezzlement, corruption, or blackmail.
Correctional Administrator – manages prison facilities’ personnel, budgets, and buildings. They may hire, fire, train, and supervise correctional officers to enforce the humane treatment of inmates.
Correctional Office – enforce rules and keep order within prisons, supervise prisoners, inspect facilities for security and safety, search inmates for contraband, report on the conduct of prisoners, and escort and transport prisoners between the prison and courtroom.
Criminal Profiler – special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that investigate with psychological descriptions of a suspect through analysis.
Crime Prevention Specialist/Analyst – works closely with communities to prevent crime. They focus on community crime prevention ideas and implementation of security.
Crime Scene Investigator – works crime scenes, collecting and analyzing evidence and assisting criminal profilers to understand how a crime happened.
Computer Forensics Specialist – Computer forensics specialists combine forensic science, computer science, and criminal investigation specialties. Computer forensics specialists reconstruct data and activities on electronic media rather than on crime scenes.
Court Reporter – provide court transcription of hearings, trials, depositions, and litigation.
Criminal Justice Instructor – educates students interested in criminal justice and law enforcement. They lecture students, facilitate discussions, engage students in research, and educate future criminal justice professionals.
Customs Inspector – works with Homeland Security to ensure that people don’t cross the border illegally into the United States.
Deputy Sherriff – enforce law and order. They may make arrests, interview witnesses, question suspects, and collect evidence for court proceedings.
Detectives – investigate crime incidents by collecting and examining evidence left behind at a crime scene.
Federal Agent (FBI, ATF, DEA, Secret Service, Homeland Security, US Marshals, Border Patrol, US Customs, US Postal Inspector) – works to protect the US from espionage, weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and organized crime.
Fish and game warden – primarily enforces fishing, hunting, and boating laws. They may also participate in search and rescue missions and investigate boating accidents and claims of illegal poaching.
Fraud Investigator – determine whether or not an insurance claim is valid, usually after an insurance company or other party has paid for a claim. Claims can involve property damage, personal injury, or other types of fraud, such as corporate financial crimes. Fraud investigators gather evidence, interview the parties involved, and present their findings to the client who hired them.
Jail Screener – adjusts and processes inmates’ sentences by analyzing their behavior. They are responsible for parole and inmate release.
Juvenile Court Counselor – accountable for the counseling, supervision, and custody of youth offenders. They may visit juveniles at their homes, schools, or places of employment.
Lawyers – practice law to defend victims or prosecute criminals. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice frequently decide to pursue a law degree.
Probation Officer – rehabilitate law offenders in custody or on probation. The probation officer ensures the offender is not dangerous to the community and tracks their rehabilitation progress.
Parole Office – work with offenders placed on parole to make sure they stay out of trouble and help them re-enter society. Their assistance can include housing and employment.
Patrol Officer – works to deter crime while protecting lives and property. They may respond to calls, patrol communities, conduct traffic stops, issue citations, search for warrants, arrest suspects, and prepare cases for legal proceedings.
Police Dispatcher – tasked with answering emergency and non-emergency calls, maintaining clear communication with police officers, and providing as much detail as possible when assigning calls. They must stay calm and clear-headed under pressure and monitor the status of first responders as they answer each call.
Private Investigator – investigate legal, financial, and criminal cases to locate a missing person. They may research cases, interview people, and monitor surveillance.
Security Officer – not usually licensed police officers. However, they play an essential role in keeping people safe. Many security officers may work in hospitals, colleges, and banks. They often collaborate with police officers, such as detaining shoplifters until the responding unit arrives.
Social Worker – helps individuals, groups, and families prevent and cope with problems in their everyday lives.
Youth Correctional Counselor – works with juvenile law offenders to help them transition from correctional facilities to their communities. They focus on counseling juvenile offenders to deter them from committing additional crimes that can put them in adult prison.
Victims Advocate – provide support to crime victims. Their typical responsibilities include offering emotional support, victims’ rights information, help finding needed resources, and assistance filling out crime victim-related forms. Victim advocates frequently accompany victims and their family members through the different aspects of criminal justice proceedings.
Which Criminal Justice Degree Program are You Interested in?
At Florida National University, you have two options for a degree in Criminal Justice. These options include:
Criminal Justice, Associate of Arts
This Criminal Justice AA program has been designed for those students seeking an education in the field of Law and Law Enforcement, among other careers of great demand. It will offer students a broad background in the Criminal Justice System and includes courses in communication, humanities, behavioral science, mathematics, natural science, and computers. *Note: Employment with certain law enforcement agencies may require separate certification in basic police training (academy).
Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science
The purpose of the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (CJBS) Degree Program is to expand students’ critical and analytical thinking skills, advance students’ ability to communicate complex data, both verbally and written, and prepare students for higher-level positions within the criminal justice sector, or gain admission to graduate-level programs.
Let Florida National University answer any questions if you are interested in criminal justice. Contact us today to learn more about our Criminal Justice Degree programs.