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Criminal Justice Certificate & Degree Programs

Criminal Justice & Legal Education Levels

Criminal Justice Schools

Criminal justice programs have been expanding in order to accommodate the changes in new specializations, homeland security and the increased demand for legal experts and law enforcement officers. Criminal Justice Degrees are concerned with the study of the laws focused on criminal behavior. If you need to find accredited criminal justice colleges then you came to the right place.

These degree programs have been designed to expand skills and qualifications. They aim to train and educate participants in the control and prevention of crime. In addition, Criminal Justice Degrees include the analysis of crime, study the reasons behind criminal behavior and study the laws/ regulations in force against criminal behavior. Some of the popular Criminal Justice Degrees include:

  • Computer Security Degrees
  • Security & Protective Services Degrees
  • Corrections Degrees
  • Public Safety & Security Degrees
  • Crime Scene Degree
  • Law Enforcement, Policing & Investigation Degrees
  • Forensics Degrees
  • Homeland Security Degrees
  • Fraud Investigation Degrees

Criminal Justice Training Programs

Criminal Justice Degree programs help participants to evaluate, in detail, the laws/ regulations against criminal behavior and train them how to implement these laws/ regulations in order to stop crime. With the right criminal justice training you may quality for any of the careers below.

Computer Security Degrees: As technology advances, crime is evolving to the same degree, as criminals continually employ computers to perpetrate crimes. Compromised data and information in computers/ network has led to crimes in the form of identity theft, hacking and malware attacks. These events cost organizations and individuals millions of dollars. The demand for computer specialist is growing in practically every sector. Organizations are looking for experts trained to protect and recover data contained in the computer systems.

Security & Protective Services Degrees: Holders of these degrees are hired for employment in several organizations including fire departments and law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, they can be hired privately by companies or individuals to safeguard lives, data and property. Computer security experts need training in encryption and data security, while physical security professionals require training in law enforcement.

Corrections Degrees: These are designed specifically to train people to administer the jails and parole systems. Justice is determined through the jurisdictional processes. Therefore, convicted criminals face financial penalties, jail terms or are placed under parole.

Public Safety & Security Degrees: These programs offer training on maintaining law & order in society. The program is designed to train security guards and police officials. It is also designed for safety professionals working in different sectors like restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals. The training provided by these programs equips participants with the practical skills and knowledge to arrange security for individuals and for major events. The programs seek to offer satisfactory training in light of growing terrorist and online threats.

Crime Scene Degrees: These degrees allow the graduates to work in security services, crime labs and investigations. The demand for professionals to work in crime scenes is growing and this makes the degree a wise choice. Completing any of the degrees can secure you a position as a Forensic Pathologist, Police officer, FBI agent, Crime scene investigator, Death investigator or DNA analyst.

Law Enforcement, Policing & Investigation Degrees: These programs help participants to prepare for employment as an HR Generalist or Specialist, Senior Research Consultant or as an Employee Relations Manager. The programs seek to equip learners with the skills and knowledge required to promote a healthy working environment. Students learn better ways of resolving conflicts and developing positive work relationships.

Forensics Degrees: Forensic experts support the police, government, lawyers and doctors in collecting and analyzing evidence. Furthermore, many fields depend on forensic experts to evaluate the crime and death scenes. Forensics is a technical discipline that requires an extensive knowledge of chemistry. Persons working in forensics have to know how to conduct complex laboratory techniques. Furthermore, they work using traces of evidence to assist in making very critical decisions. The programs emphasize training techniques which use minimal data.

Homeland Security Degrees: People looking for a career in public administration or law enforcement can consider Homeland Security Degrees. These degrees can offer students lucrative careers in several industries such as Emergency Medical Assistance, National Security, Disaster Relief, Hazardous Materials, Law Enforcement and Corrections.

Fraud Investigation Degrees: Fraud investigation involves investigating individuals or a group in order to ascertain whether they have taken advantage of a situation by fraudulently misrepresenting information. Fraud has the capacity of causing havoc in social, legal and financial systems.

Are you looking for a career that will give you the opportunity to use your strong critical thinking and problem solving skills? Are you interested in the legal system, and want to make the world a safer place? Do you want to help people get their lives back on track? If you answered yes to these questions, criminal justice might be the field for you! Criminal justice is a field full of career opportunities. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about becoming a criminal justice professional in all 50 state, focussing on the specific job titles of police officer, corrections officer, probation officer, and bailiff. Start by earning your Associate’s degree from an accredited school.

What Do Criminal Justice Professionals Do?

Criminal justice professionals are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. The particular duties for which the criminal justice professional will be responsible depend on his or her specific job title. Getting an education in the area of criminal justice is a wonderful foundation for a wide variety of careers. While we will focus on the jobs of police officer, corrections officer, probation officer, and bailiff in this article, you should know that there are many other possible careers in this field, including:
• Air marshal
• Private investigator or detective
• Criminal investigator
• Narcotics officer
• U.S. marshal
• Fraud investigator
• Fire investigator
• State trooper
• Information security analyst
• Fish and game warden
• Conservation officer
• Homicide detective
• And numerous others

Police officers are responsible for enforcement of the law; carrying out response to both emergency and non-emergency calls; preparing cases, and testifying in court; obtaining warrants for arrest, and arresting suspects; searching for vehicle records using computers; searching for warrants using computers; carrying out traffic stops, and issuing citations where appropriate; patrolling areas the police officer is assigned; completing forms; writing reports; observing suspect activity; collecting crime scene evidence; and securing crime scene evidence. Corrections officers work in jails and prisons. These professionals supervise inmate activity; maintain order and enforce rules in jails and prisons; aid in prisoner rehabilitation and counseling; carry out inspection of facilities to make sure that they satisfy safety and security standards; ensure the inmates do not have contraband; and report on the conduct of inmates. Being a corrections officer is a job that is generally quite emotionally and physically demanding.

Probation officers meet with probationers either at the probationer’s residence or in an office; carry out evaluation of probationers, in order to determine the most effective course of rehabilitation; provide resources to probationers (for example, job training); write reports on probationers; keep case files on probationers; have meetings with probationers and their family and friends; monitor contact the probationer makes with law enforcement; carry out drug and other substance testing for probationers; and offer substance abuse counselling to probationers when appropriate.

Bailiffs (also known as court officers and/or marshals) work in the courtroom setting. They protect and assist the judge and jury during court proceedings; collect evidence from the jury and legal team; escort defendants between the detention facility and courtroom; screen visitors before they enter the courtroom; carry out necessary paperwork and reports; replay messages between jurors and their families and the court; help jurors with their duties; provide security for a sequestered jury; accompany jurors when they are outside of the courtroom, and ensure that there is no contact with the public; declare the judge’s entry into the courtroom; and call witnesses into the courtroom.

The Value of a Criminal Justice Associate’s Degree

It is highly advantageous to begin your journey by earning a criminal justice certificate, diploma, or degree. Once you have that, you can fulfill any other specific requirements of your chosen career. General education in the field of criminal justice will give you the background you need to be successful. Criminal justice is a very large field, with many different opportunities that you can pursue.

What Will I Learn in a Criminal Justice Program?
You will take many fascinating and useful courses during your criminal justice program which will help set you up for success in your future criminal justice career. Examples of subjects you might be required to study include theories of criminal behavior, criminal law, constitutional procedures in relation to criminal law, juvenile justice system, criminal justice organization and administration, management and leadership in criminal justice agencies, criminal justice research methodologies, ethics in criminal justice, data analysis in criminal justice, courtroom techniques, and sociology. You might also have the opportunity to complete an exciting and educational internship or practicum in a workplace. This will give you very valuable experience, and provide you with the opportunity to make potentially very useful connections in the field. These benefits of an internship or practicum might come in very useful during the job searching process.

How Can I Become a Police Officer?
In order to become a police officer you must be at least 19 years old and have a high school diploma or GED certificate at minimum. You must be a United States citizen, as well. You will have to pass a physical examination performed by a physician, physician’s assistant, or certified advanced nurse practitioner. You will also have to successfully complete a Basic Abilities Test (BAT. This training must be carried out at a Commission Certified Training School. Once you have completed this training, you will have to pass the State Officer Certification Examination. You will have three chances to pass this examination. You will also need to pass a background check.

How Can I Become a Corrections Officer?
In order to become a corrections officer, you must be a United States citizen, and be between 20 and 37 years old upon application. You must not have any “crippling” financial debts, and you must have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions. You will have to have either a bachelor’s degree in any field (although criminal justice will give you the clear advantage), or have a minimum of three years of experience in one of the following fields: security; religious instruction; counseling; child care; management or supervision; teaching; or commissioned sales. You will have to be physically capable of carrying out certain tasks. These physical tasks include: run and cuff (being able to run a quarter of one mile and then immediately handcuff an individual in a maximum of two minutes and 35 seconds); dummy drag (being able to cross 694 feet in fewer than three minutes while dragging along a dummy that weighs 75 pounds); stair climb (being able to climb 108 steps in a maximum of 45 seconds, while being burdened with a weight of 25 pounds); obstacle course (being able to complete an obstacle course in fewer than 58 seconds); and climb and grasp (being able to climb a ladder and get hold of an object in a maximum of seven seconds).

If you want to be eligible for corrections officer jobs at a higher pay grade, you will need to have completed at least nine semester hours or 14 quarter hours of education in criminology, law, or social science (such as criminal justice). Alternatively, you can present evidence of one full year of experience in mental health care, law enforcement, or corrections. You will have to have a driver’s license, and never have been discharged dishonorably from the military. You must also be physically fit, and be of good moral character.

How Can I Become a Probation Officer?
If when you finish your criminal justice education you decide that you would like to work as a probation officer, you will have to complete the basic recruit training course for Correctional Probation Officers. You will also need to possess (or be eligible to obtain) a current employment certificate of compliance for Correctional Probation Officers. This certificate is issued by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Your fingerprints will have to be filed with the agency with which you hope to be employed. You will also have to be of good moral character, and pass a medical examination. You will also need a valid driver’s license.

How Can I Become a Bailiff?
If you decide you want to work as a bailiff, you will be given on-the-job training when you secure a position. You will likely be assigned a mentor, who you will watch and work with, and who will teach you everything you need to know about the job and its duties. It may be an advantage in the job searching process to already have some criminal justice experience before applying for a job as a bailiff. Earning your Associate’s degree is your first step towards a great career.

What Qualities Do I Need for a Successful Career in Criminal Justice?

There are many different qualities you will need to be successful in a criminal justice career. Below are examples of some of the most important:

• Physical stamina: If you want to work as a corrections officer or a police officer, physical stamina will be especially important.
• Emotional and mental stamina and stability: Emotional and mental stamina and stability are important to thrive in a criminal justice job.
• Ability to keep calm under pressure: You must be able to keep calm in situations of intense pressure in many criminal justice jobs.
• Management and supervision skills: You will need management and supervision skills, especially in a corrections officer or probation officer position.
• Research skills: Criminal justice professionals need sound research skills.
• Patience and compassion: You will need patience and compassion in other to thrive in the field of criminal justice.
• Sound understanding of the law and legal system: You will need an acceptable amount of knowledge in the area of criminal justice and the criminal justice system in order to be a professional in this field.
• Interviewing skills: Interviewing skills are especially essential for police officers and probation officers.
• Understanding of ethics: Criminal justice professionals must behave in an ethical manner at all times.
• Decision making and problem solving: As a criminal justice professional (especially a police officer, corrections officer, or probation officer), you will be required to make sound decisions and solve problems.
• Critical thinking skills: Strong critical thinking skills are very important in this field.
• Understanding considerations of race and gender: Understanding considerations of race and gender is critically important in this field.
• Computer skills: You must be computer literate and willing to keep up with advancing technology in the field.
• Communication skills: You must have excellent verbal and written communication skills in order to succeed in criminal justice (especially as a police officer or probation officer).
• Understanding of sociological concepts: You must have a good understanding of general sociological concepts.
Criminal Justice Salaries
The median salary for police officers in the US is $47,790. Corrections officers’ median salary in the same city is $37,963, while probation officers have a median salary of $48,276.

Criminal Justice Job Growth
While job growth for police officers, probation officers, correctional officers, and bailiffs is slower than the average of other occupations in the United States at the present time, making sure that you are well-educated in the field of criminal justice will put you at a strong advantage in the job searching process!